Falcon MacLeod swoops for awards treble

Scott MacLeod, seen here playing for Scotland, has emerged a top performer with Newcastle Falcons
Scott MacLeod, seen here playing for Scotland, has emerged a top performer with Newcastle Falcons

ALMOST a year since admitting he doubted whether he had a future in rugby, giant lock Scott MacLeod is on the cusp of the biggest game of his life.

And victory over Bedford in next week’s two-legged championship play-off final would cap an unbelievable season for the Newcastle Falcons star, who walked away with three top trophies at the club’s awards bash on Sunday.

Fresh from helping Falcons book their place in the final with a win over Leeds Carnegie, MacLeod, who moved to Kingston Park after a frustrating spell in Japan, picked up the fans’ player of the year, players’ player of the year and Falcons player of the year awards.

He said: “It’s been a good season for me and I’ve played pretty well especially after Japan where I didn’t play much and was contemplating the end of my career.

“Coming to Newcastle has just been perfect.”

Falcons will contest the British and Irish Cup final tonight against Leinster, although the former Scotland international is expected to be rested for the match ahead of what he admitted will be an almighty pair of games to secure Premiership status – at Bedford next Thursday and the second leg at home the following Wednesday.

Falcons finished top of the league by an incredible 24 points, but the promotion place is decided by way of the play-offs. MacLeod said: “This is a massive game. I’ve never been in this position before. I’ve played in big games and international games against top teams in the world. There have been local derbies and the Scarlets reached the semi-final of the Heineken Cup but I’ve never been involved in a game with so much pressure.

“It’s irrelevant how well the season has gone, it’s all down to these games.

“This is as big a game as I’ve ever been involved in.”

And he admitted it would be something special to play in the English Premiership.

He added: “I’ve played in the Magners League, international rugby and I’ve played abroad. And this season I’ve played against sides in England.

“I’ve ticked a few boxes but now it’s all about playing in the Premiership and hopefully we’ll be there next season.”