NORTH-EAST native Charlie Maddison is relishing the prospect of his Kingston Park debut when Newcastle Falcons host Hartpury University on Friday night.

The 28-year-old came up through the Tynedale ranks, but departed for Rotherham, Darlington Mowden Park and Jersey to pursue his professional rugby ambitions before earning a summer switch back to his home region.

“It’s nice being back up home, and I’ve enjoyed being chucked in at the deep end,” said Maddison, who made his Falcons debut in last month’s 21-8 win at former club Jersey, and featured in the 52-14 Championship Cup win at Hartpury.

“I grew up in and around Hexham, played all my junior stuff at Tynedale and have since been away from the region for about ten years now playing my rugby elsewhere, so it’s great to be back up here.”

Despite not quite firing on all cylinders just yet, Falcons have won all four of their games this term, sitting on top of their Championship Cup group and defeating London Scottish 17-13 last Saturday as they opened their league account.

“I’ve played the last five seasons in the Championship and it’s a really tough league,” said Maddison, whose Newcastle team are looking to bounce straight back into the top-flight.

“As the perceived big dogs coming down from the Premiership you’ve got to be on it every single week, because teams want your scalp. All the way down the table you’re going to get sides gunning for you, and if we want to go straight back up into the top flight we can’t allow our focus to slip.

“I wouldn’t say last weekend was a wake-up call, because everyone here knows how difficult this season is going to be.

“We can’t blame the weather because it was the same for both sides, but what we can look at is how we are able to control the game when conditions deteriorate like that. Sometimes that’s just the way rugby goes, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact we actually won the game.”

Already well-acquainted with Friday’s opponents following their eight-try triumph in Gloucestershire, Maddison said: “We played Hartpury a fortnight ago so we both know a fair bit about each other, and for us it’s about kicking off our Championship season at home.”