Rob Vickers has declared that Newcastle Falcons will take this season's LV= Cup seriously, insisting that the club can win the trophy.
The 32-year-old is expected to start from the off in the opening game of the competition against Northampton Saints tomorrow, looking to regain fitness following the ankle injury sustained at Leicester Tigers.
The Falcons head into the game on the back of four successive wins in all competitions - form which Vickers believes holds his side in good stead.
"It will be interesting to see how clubs approach it," the hooker is quoted as saying by Chronicle Live. "The six Premiership games and the two European games have taken a burden on teams. This is another competition for clubs to see where players are at.
"We're taking it seriously. As the last two weeks have shown, if you put a couple of the younger guys in it adds more energy and more enthusiasm, and actually, for us older guys, it keeps us moving forward. There's no reason why [we can't win it].
"It's another opportunity for more players to play, and put their hand up because everyone wants to be playing in the Premiership. So over the course of these two weeks coming and two weeks past, everyone will be putting their hand up and saying 'I want to be in that next Premiership game when we come to the end of the LV= Cup'."
Vickers's only Aviva Premiership appearance this season came in the first of four straight defeats, away at Leicester on the opening weekend.