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Newcastle Falcons team to face Gloucester

Newcastle Falcons have made one change to their side for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership trip to Gloucester, Alex Tait replacing Vereniki Goneva on the right wing.

Goneva misses out with a hamstring injury as Newcastle travel to Kingsholm with an otherwise unchanged side from the one which faced Leicester Tigers last weekend.

Director of rugby Dean Richards said ahead of the 3pm kick-off: “Without a doubt, we see this as a huge opportunity. Gloucester are playing well, but a little bit like ourselves they have found it difficult at times to convert pressure into points. It is one of those occasions whereby we feel we are in with a good shout, but we need to deliver a performance.

“There are a few of these fantastic rugby environments around in the Aviva Premiership, and Gloucester is definitely one of them. You get the passionate support, they make a lot of noise and if you can’t get up for it in that kind of atmosphere then you never will. You walk out onto that pitch and the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. You have got to front up to it, take it head on, and if you don’t then it can end up being a hard day at the office.”

Having lost by a single point at home to Leicester Tigers last weekend, Richards said: “When you have your chances you’ve got to take them. We had enough chances to win the game but we weren’t accurate enough, and that is the most frustrating thing. The final kick was the one which would have sealed it but we had missed two prior to that, plus countless opportunities near their try-line which we needed to nail. Forget that last kick, it was about what had happened earlier.

“The performance was a big improvement on Bath the week before, the boys felt we played reasonably well and we should have won. Taking into account an unbeaten pre-season and the fact we had a decent win over Sale Sharks in our first league game, provided we turn in the kind of performance we know we are capable of we will be in a good position.”

Newcastle Falcons team to face Gloucester (Saturday, 3pm, Kingsholm):

15 Simon Hammersley
14 Alex Tait
13 Dominic Waldouck
12 Juan Pablo Socino
11 Sinoti Sinoti
10 Mike Delany
9 Sonatane Takulua

1 Rob Vickers
2 Scott Lawson
3 Jon Welsh
4 Calum Green
5 Evan Olmstead
6 Mark Wilson
7 Will Welch (captain)
8 Ally Hogg

Replacements
16 Ben Sowrey
17 Alex Rogers
18 Paddy Ryan
19 Will Witty
20 Daniel Temm
21 Michael Young
22 Joel Hodgson
23 Belisario Agulla

Referee: Dean Richards

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