As Newcastle Falcons prepare to return to Aviva Premiership action against London Irish tomorrow, the club have named a side with three changes from their last top flight outing earlier this month.
Prop Kieran Brookes returns from England international duty to start in the front row, while Noah Cato and Gonzalo Tiesi both return from injury to take their respective places in the back line.
Joining Brookes in the Falcons’ front row are Scotland international hooker and opening try scorer against Leicester Scott Lawson, and Rob Vickers at Loosehead, both of whom make their fifteenth starts for the club this term.
Elsewhere in the scrum the club’s line up remains unchanged, with Kane Thompson and Dom Barrow taking up their positions in the second row while Richard Mayhew and captain Will Welch take up the flanker roles and Mark Wilson retains the number eight shirt.
Alex Tait continues at Full Back in what will be his 154th run out in a Falcons shirt, with Falcons’ top try scorer Sinoti Sinoti and Noah Cato on the wings, Cato stepping in for Alex Tuilagi following the latter’s hamstring pull in training earlier this week.
Adam Powell moves to inside centre partnered for this game by Gonzalo Tiesi, with Juan Pablo Socino moving to the bench this week to make way for his countryman.
Completing the starting line up are Tom Catterick at ten and Ruki Tipuna at Scrum Half.
Returning Italian international Josh Furno starts the game on the bench; while Juan Pablo Orlandi is also named amongst the replacements after recovering from the pectoral injury which ruled him out against Leicester.
Chris Harris also returns as a substitute after a number of weeks out of action for the club following a shoulder injury sustained against Newport Gwent Dragons in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.
Rob Hawkins, Alex Rogers and Andy Saull complete the Falcons’ bench, with Andy Davies coming in as replacement scrum half for the injured Sonatane Takulua.
Newcastle Falcons vs London Irish
15. Alex Tait, 14. Noah Cato, 13. Gonzalo Tiesi, 12. Adam Powell, 11. Sinoti Sinoti, 10. Tom Catterick, 9. Ruki Tipuna;
1. Rob Vickers, 2. Scott Lawson, 3. Kieran Brookes, 4. Kane Thompson, 5. Dom Barrow, 6. Richard Mayhew, 7. Will Welch (c), 8. Mark Wilson.
16. Rob Hawkins, 17. Alex Rogers, 18. Juan Orlandi, 19. Josh Furno, 20. Andy Saull, 21. Andy Davies, 22. Juan Socino, 23. Chris Harris.