Fixtures - Top Bar

Newcastle Falcons name team to face Ospreys

Newcastle Falcons have made 13 changes for Friday’s European Challenge Cup trip to Welsh side Ospreys (kick-off 7.05pm).

No.8 Harrison Orr makes his senior debut for the club after joining from Ealing Trailfinders in the summer, forming part of a pack which sees hooker Ben Sowrey making his first start.

David Wilson and Michael Young are the two men to keep their place from the side which defeated Bristol 19-14 in Saturday’s Aviva Premiership encounter, American lock Nick Civetta coming in for his competitive debut.

Glen Young starts on the blind-side flank after returning to his parent club from Championship finalists Doncaster Knights, Joel Hodgson starting at fly-half after coming on as an early replacement last weekend. Craig Willis is at inside centre in his maiden senior outing of the campaign, Fred Burdon captaining the side on his first team debut after impressing for the club’s second string.

Ireland Under-20s full-back Brett Connon makes his competitive debut for the Falcons after playing in the Junior World Championship final in June, while Mouritz Botha features from the bench after summer surgery.

Director of rugby Dean Richards said: “We went for a bit of stability in terms of the squad over the last six weeks and there are a lot of boys knocking on the door who deserve an opportunity to play. They’ll get that chance this weekend, and deservedly so.

“It’s not about developing youngsters, it’s about giving people who deserve the chance, the chance to play. There have been a number of boys who have been outstanding for the A-team or coming off the bench for us, and we have been delighted with their performances.

“A lot of these boys are playing well at this moment so it’s important they get this chance and stake their claim. And there’s no better place to stake your claim than down at the Ospreys.”

“As well as freshening up their playing squad the Falcons have also rotated their coaching ranks this week, with skills coach mark Laycock and forwards coach Micky Ward steering the ship.

Richards explained: “There is a long term view to what we are doing. We’re not doing it just to change things. Sometimes a change is as good as a rest, but we’re doing well at the moment. For me it’s about developing the players, developing the coaches as well and keeping things fresh.

“There is a little more onus on these coaches to take certain responsibilities they wouldn’t ordinarily do, and they will be leading it. Next week (line-out coach) Scott MacLeod and (attack coach) Dave Walder will do the same, with (head coach) John Wells taking the defence.”

Also pooled with French teams Lyon and Grenoble in the Challenge Cup group phase, Richards added: “The goal is to get into the quarter-finals, and if we can do that we’ll be delighted. Looking at the squad this year as opposed to last, I think we’re in a far better position.

“The one thing I’d say about the French is you’ve got to win your away games. We’ve got Grenoble coming over next week which will be an interesting game for us then we play Lyon home and away. That will be a tough call because they will throw everything into their home game, and we’ll then see what happens with the away game.

“If we get into Christmas and if we’ve won three out of the four we’ll be in a good place – four out of four, absolutely fantastic.”

Newcastle Falcons team to face Ospreys (Friday, Liberty Stadium, 7.05pm)

15 Brett Connon
14 Marcus Watson
13 Fred Burdon (captain)
12 Craig Willis
11 Belisario Agulla
10 Joel Hodgson
9 Michael Young

1 Alex Rogers
2 Ben Sowrey
3 David Wilson
4 Will Witty
5 Nick Civetta
6 Glen Young
7 Daniel Temm
8 Harrison Orr

Replacements
16 David Nelson
17 Sam Lockwood
18 Andrew Foster
19 Mouritz Botha
20 Callum Chick
21 Sam Egerton
22 Juan Pablo Socino
23 Alex Tait

Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)

Latest News

Harlequins Ladies coach savours upcoming Women’s Super Rugby season

Women’s sport is booming according to former Richmond prop and Scotland captain Karen Findlay, who is now relishing the prospect…

Aviva Tackling Numbers programme celebrated at Corporate Engagement Awards

Premiership Rugby and its Aviva Tackling Numbers programme enjoyed not one but two moments in the spotlight at the Corporate…

Corporate Engagement Awards

Lions ready for battle on eve of All Blacks Test

After months of waiting and weeks of build-up, The British & Irish Lions are ready to face the toughest challenge…

Saracens and London Irish to kick off the season at Twickenham

SARACENS and London Irish will help launch the 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season after being chosen as the home sides for…

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…

JamesPhillips1

Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Sale Sharks have announced the latest in a wave of world class signings, as they confirm Australian International James O’Connor…

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Lions prepared for final warm-up before All Blacks Test

After a crucial victory against the Maori All Blacks, the British & Irish Lions are just a single match away…

Wasps sign Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley

Wasps today confirm the signing of props Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley, while loosehead Tom Bristow is confirmed as leaving…

Paul Doran-Jones

Venter integral to Du Plessis opting to join London Irish

Petrus Du Plessis says Brendan Venter was a key factor in his decision to move to London Irish this summer.…

Fight and spirit shone through despite defeat, says England U20 coach Vass

Head coach Ian Vass hailed his England U20 side’s fight and spirit after they were beaten in the World Rugby…