Former Norwich and North Walsham junior named in Aviva Premiership team of the season
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Calum Green has been named in the Aviva Premiership team of the season ahead of the biggest game of his career.
The former Norwich and North Walsham junior has been a key part of the Newcastle Falcons pack this season, helping secure a surprise play-off place.
Finishing fourth saw Falcons dominate the annual Premiership Rugby Awards on Wednesday night, ahead of Saturday’s semi-final at reigning champions Exeter (3.30pm).
“If you’d said at the start of the season that we’d be in this position there’d be people who probably couldn’t believe it,” said Norwich-born Green.
“We were aiming for top six so to get top four is a nice bonus, but now that we’re here we might as well go all the way.”
The Falcons’ success saw Dean Richards win the annual director of rugby and wing Niki Goneva the player of the season awards, with Green named in the BT Sport Dream Team alongside England internationals Danny Cipriani, Sam Simmonds and Ellis Genge.
The 27-year-old, who left Leicester Tigers in 2012 and played for Leeds Carnegie for two years before heading to Newcastle, topped the Opta stats for lineouts stolen and was second in the charts for lineouts won.
“Once we were in and around the mix for the top four after Christmas we just thought ‘why not?’,” Green continued
“There was a big collective push to just keep winning every week and see where it would take us, but after losing away at Worcester we maybe thought that was the semi-finals out of reach. We had a good home win over Sale, and then it all came down to knowing we’d have to win at Leicester for the first time in 20 years. That was the match that got us here, and if we can win a game like that then there’s no reason why we can’t win at Exeter on Saturday.”
The second row, a former England U20 international, is hoping to help Falcons set up a shot at a first title in 20 years.
“I’m massively excited, and weeks like this are why you play the game,” he added, speaking to Newcastle’s website.
“You have to make the most of them, enjoy them and give it absolutely everything on the day. We won’t get caught up in the moment, we’ll go all out for the win and I don’t see any reason why we can’t do it.”