NEWCASTLE Falcons full-back Tom Catterick says his unbeaten league leaders will lose none of their focus despite Sunday’s Championship trip to Leeds being moved to Otley.
Leeds’ regular home ground at Headingley has been deemed unplayable after their newly-laid pitch came a cropper under the weight of the scrum against Plymouth last month – a game which was replayed last weekend at another venue after an RFU investigation. The club have left nothing to chance by moving their next wave of matches to out-grounds around Yorkshire, switching Sunday’s northern derby with Newcastle to an Otley ground which hosted games during the 1991 Rugby World Cup.
Catterick (pictured left) said: “I haven’t heard of anything like it before and it is a fairly unique situation, but it is hard to see what else Leeds could have done.”
In a season of weird and wonderful stadia following last season’s Premiership relegation, he added: “I have never played at Otley so I don’t know what to expect. As players you just get on with it, though, wherever you are playing. In a way it is nice to visit these kind of old-school clubs, and once you are on the pitch it doesn’t really matter what the place is like.
“It can be a big change from the facilities we are used to at Kingston Park and a lot of the other places we have played. We are lucky to have those, but you can’t let it affect you when you visit grounds that are different.
“You are only in the changing rooms for ten minutes before a game, a rugby field is a rugby field and you have to be professional no matter where it is.”