Del Fava braced for 'hardest league in the world'
July 15, 2013
Carlo del Fava celebrates the Falcons' Championship semi-final play-off victory over Leeds with team-mate Suka Hufanga © Getty Images
Globe-trotting Newcastle lock Carlo del Fava has seen much of what the European game has to offer but can't contain his excitement about his latest career challenge.
Some other well-travelled players...
Del Fava is set for his Premiership bow this season, having earned promotion with the Falcons last term, and will so add English rugby's top flight to an arguably unrivalled CV that already includes stints in the Celtic League with Ulster, France's Top 14 with Bourgoin and the Italian league with Viadana and Aironi.
The 32-year-old also boasts 54 Test appearances for Italy but he believes the Premiership will provide the toughest test of his career. "I can't wait to play in the Premiership. I am just so excited about it," he told The Journal. "I have played all over the world, but I have always wanted a go at the Premiership. I am relishing the fact we will be up against top-class sides every week, and I truly believe it is the hardest club league in Europe."
However, any success the Falcons have on their return to the Premiership will have to go some way to match the elation he felt following their Championship final victory over Bedford. "It was a great feeling to get promotion after such a long season. Honestly, it was the best feeling I have ever experienced on a rugby field throughout my whole career.
"The build-up, how we had to work for it and the camaraderie. It was just pure rugby, if you understand what I mean, and a great feeling that it has all ended with the title and promotion."
But he insists his side did not bask too long in their Championship glory with their sights long since set on cementing their place in the Premiership. "I am so proud of the team. We produced the goods when it really mattered, but it will be hard for us in the Premiership given the quality we will be up against every single week."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup
The reopening of the openside debate, a dominant wolf-pack and a sublime performance in defeat - Monday Maul looks at the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship alongside the best photographs from around the domestic game