Dean Richards has told his Newcastle players to relish the challenge of playing against French giants Stade Francais on Thursday evening.
The pair meet at the Stade Jean Bouin for what is sure to be a gargantuan tussle in which the Parisians will be desperate to get revenge after going down 30-23 to the Falcons last Friday night.
Although their name may not carry the same fear as it did a decade ago, Stade remain a huge threat, currently sitting third in the Top 14 and being able to boast the likes of Morne Steyn, Digby Ioane and Sergio Parisse within their ranks.
It means Newcastle face a huge challenge to make it three wins out of three in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, a fact reflected in the betting with Stade currently at 2.07 with a -11.5 handicap, while the Tynesiders are 1.75 with a +1.75 handicap.
However, Richards has never been one to shy away from adversity during his time as either a player or a coach and has now challenged his players to produce another huge performance against the fired-up French outfit.
“They are a good side with a lot of strength in depth, and they will definitely pose a real challenge,” he told the Chronicle. “Speaking to a couple of their coaches after the game in Newcastle, they desperately want to win the return leg.
“They are third in the Top 14 at the moment and they are not third for no reason. It will be a great challenge, and there is nothing better than going over to France and pitting your wits against some of the best in Europe in their own backyard.”