TOP BAR - Fixtures

Harris handed first Premiership start as Falcons change seven

Newcastle Falcons have named their starting line up for their first match in 2015 when they visit current Aviva Premiership Champions and table toppers Northampton Saints.

The team shows six changes from the side which pushed a strong Saracens side to the wire during an exciting game at Kingston Park over the festive period.

Double try scorer Chris Harris is rewarded for a strong performance from the bench by being handed his first start in the Aviva Premiership when he lines up on the wing. Samoan heavy weight Andy Tuilagi in also in line for his first Falcons start following his summer move to the North East.

Following some strong performances this season in the Falcons' semi-final qualifying A-League side, Danny Barnes is recalled on the wing while Richard Mayhew makes a welcome return to the side following an injury layoff which has kept him from first team action since early November.

Elsewhere in the side Italian international Josh Furno partners an ever present Calum Green who has started every Premiership match this term. Kane Thompson misses out through suspension while USA international Eric Fry moves up from the bench to start at Loosehead in place of Rob Vickers.

Fellow internationals Scott Lawson and Kieran Brookes join Fry in the front row while club captain Will Welch lines up alongside Mayhew and Mark Wilson in the back row.

In the backline Alex Tait continues to hold the Full back shirt while Adam Powell, Tom Catterick and Mike Blair all retain their places from last weekend’s starting side.

The game against Northampton Saints kicks off at 7.45pm at Franklin’s Gardens with live commentary available via Twitter and the Newcastle Falcons mobile app, as well as on BBC Radio Newcastle.

Newcastle Falcons team vs Northampton Saints

15. Alex Tait, 14. Chris Harris, 13. Adam Powell , 12. Anitelea Tuilagi, 11. Danny Barnes, 10. Tom Catterick, 9. Mike Blair;
1. Eric Fry, 2. Scott Lawson, 3. Kieran Brookes, 4. Calum Green, 5. Josh Furno, 6. Richard Mayhew, 7. Will Welch (c), 8. Mark Wilson.

Replacements:
16. George McGuigan, 17. Rob Vickers, 18. Alex Rogers, 19. Scott MacLeod, 20. Andy Saull, 21. Ruki Tipuna, 22. Rory Clegg, 23. Tom Penny.
 

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