Fixtures - Top Bar

Newcastle Falcons team to face Gloucester Rugby

Alex Tait

Alex Tait will make his 200th appearance for Newcastle Falcons when he starts in Friday’s Aviva Premiership visit of Gloucester to Kingston Park Stadium (kick-off 8pm).

The 29-year-old full-back this week pledged his future to his home club with a new long-term deal, and forms part of a side showing eight changes from the one which fell to Harlequins in their last league outing.

A new half-back pairing sees Michael Young and Mike Delany linking up, Chris Harris coming into the centres with Marcus Watson starting on the left wing. Kyle Cooper and David Wilson join the front row, Evan Olmstead coming in at lock as Mark Wilson moves back to flanker in a back-row which sees the return of Ally Hogg at No 8.

Looking to do the double over Gloucester following September’s 18-13 victory at Kingsholm, director of rugby Dean Richards said: “It’s going to be an interesting battle, and with it being a Friday night up here the crowd are going to make a big difference. Hopefully we’ll turn it on.

“We can take a lot of confidence from the result we had down at Gloucester in September, which was a good defensive performance. We’ve beaten them once away this season but we can’t rest on our laurels. We’d love to do the double over them but they’re a side who are on fire at the moment, and they’re looking good.

“They play a really good brand of rugby, they have some key players and they’ll be a difficult side to beat. They’ll be looking to turn us over, and in the same game last season they kicked nine penalties against us. That killed us off even though we out-scored them in terms of tries, but our discipline on the day wasn’t great. This year it has to be a different thing altogether, and with the way we’re playing we’re scoring tries for fun. We’ve just got to make sure we tighten up on the defensive side.

“Gloucester seem to have galvanised a little bit recently, and are playing a more expansive game with a bit more unity. They’re playing a good brand, they have go-to players like Ross Moriarty, Billy Twelvetrees, Richard Hibbard and those kinds of guys, and they give them a lot of energy. Their back three is exceptionally quick, but, having said that, our own isn’t bad either.”

Looking for a marked improvement on their last showing at Harlequins, Richards added: “I was annoyed with the way we conceded some very easy tries, and as much as Harlequins were on top of their game it was a very frustrating and disappointing day from our own point of view. It’s behind us now though, and we’re working hard to put it right.

“Without a doubt, it’s important in terms of our Champions Cup ambitions that we get the win on Friday. It starts running away from us if we don’t, and we need to win.”

Richards and his squad have had the benefit of input from the refereeing fraternity during the build-up to the game, the Falcons boss revealing: “We had Tony Spreadbury and Craig Maxwell-Keys come up to see us on Wednesday, which was really useful.

“We went through some past games with them to analyse how certain decisions came about, and Craig assisted in our training session. It’s nice to get a quality referee like that out there in the middle during training, and it will be as useful for them as it is for us.

“They got an insight into how we prepare, why we do certain things and what we’re looking for. They would generally go into a game pretty cold in terms of understanding what we are trying to achieve in certain areas, and it’s great for both parties that we have visits like this.”

Tickets for Friday’s game are available by calling 0871 226 6060.

Newcastle Falcons team to face Gloucester (Friday, 8pm, Kingston Park Stadium)

15 Alex Tait
14 Vereniki Goneva
13 Chris Harris
12 Juan Pablo Socino
11 Marcus Watson
10 Mike Delany
9 Michael Young

1 Rob Vickers
2 Kyle Cooper
3 David Wilson
4 Calum Green
5 Evan Olmstead
6 Mark Wilson
7 Will Welch (captain)
8 Ally Hogg

Replacements

16 Scott Lawson
17 Ben Harris
18 Jon Welsh
19 Will Witty
20 Callum Chick
21 Sonatane Takulua
22 Joel Hodgson
23 Sinoti Sinoti

Latest News

Alex Lewington hopes London Irish youngsters will gain confidence from Singha 7s

London Irish wing Alex Lewington cannot wait to see which youngsters step up to the plate in the Singha Premiership…

Alex Lewington

Worcester Warriors sign Ireland scrum-half Peter Stringer

Warriors have signed Ireland international Peter Stringer on a six-month deal ahead of the 2017/18 season. The scrum-half will join…

Peter Stringer

Tim Streather forced to retire from rugby

Former Saracens centre Tim Streather has been forced to retire from the game due to a knee injury. Commenting on…

Tim Streather

Contract and captaincy for Dylan Hartley at Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints has today announced that Dylan Hartley has both signed a new contract and been appointed as the club’s…

Dylan Hartley

Forwards Coach George Skivington says London Irish squad are chomping at the bit

The London Irish squad have returned for pre-season training ‘hungrier’ than ever before according to Forwards Coach George Skivington. Now…

George Skivington

Wasps Academy sign Gabriel Oghre and George Thornton

Wasps announce the signing of hooker Gabriel Oghre and prop George Thornton to the Senior Academy ahead of the new…

Gabriel Oghre and George Thornton

Singha 7s gives next generation the chance to shine

Harlequins academy coach Jim Evans believes that next week’s Singha Premiership Rugby 7s will give the league’s stars of the…

Harlequins in action at the Singha 7s

Singha Premiership Rugby 7s draw confirmed

The 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season will kick off – at the end of July - in spectacular style with the Singha…

Win an Executive Box for the Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series

Premiership Rugby has teamed up with Northampton Saints to offer supporters the chance to win themselves an Executive Box at…

Singha 7s Ball

Dave Attwood and team-mates happy to lend a hand at Bath Rugby Foundation’s Summer Scrum

Bath Rugby lock Dave Attwood admitted helping teach rugby to children with disabilities was extremely humbling as he and his…

Gordon Reid on his first training day with London Irish

New recruit Gordon Reid is determined to be a permanent fixture in London Irish’s front row having made the switch…

Gordon Reid

Singha 7s is a chance for players to shine, says Stephen Myler

Northampton Saints’ Stephen Myler is anticipating a vibrant atmosphere and high-octane rugby when the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s arrives at…

Stephen Myler

Mark Wilson bringing his England form back to Newcastle Falcons

Newcastle Falcons’ latest England international checked back in at his club on Monday, with Mark Wilson enthusiastic about their prospects…

Mark Wilson

Worcester Warrior Chris Pennell pays tribute to community heroes

Chris Pennell paid tribute to Worcester Warriors’ grassroots spirit as he got his hands on his Aviva Community Player of…

Sale Sharks volunteer sees hard work rewarded at Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards

Sale Sharks’ Paula Bradbury couldn’t hide her delight as she was crowned Community Volunteer of the Year at the Premiership…

New Premiership Rugby A League launched

Northampton Wanderers will start the defence of their Premiership Rugby A League title with a trip to Sale Jets in…

Northampton Wanderers

Josh Matavesi loving life as a Newcastle Falcon

Josh Matavesi believes he has found the perfect home at Newcastle Falcons, with the former Osprey tailor-made for the ambitious…

Josh Matavesi

Mini and junior rugby players set to share stage with stars at London Double Header

The hallowed Twickenham turf will host the great and the good of Aviva Premiership Rugby during this year’s London Double…

Tag Rugby

Worcester Cavaliers to play ten games in new-look A League

Worcester Cavaliers will play ten matches in a brand-new format for the 2017/18 Premiership Rugby A League campaign. Instead of…

Alex Hearle