TOP BAR - Fixtures

Newcastle Falcons team to face London Irish

Gonzalo Tiesi makes his first senior appearance in more than a year as Newcastle Falcons prepare for Sunday’s Aviva Premiership visit of London Irish to Kingston Park Stadium (3pm).

The Argentinean centre has missed the entire campaign through injury but returns in time for a game which is expected to see a season-high crowd, Newcastle making four changes from the side which faced Harlequins last time out.
 
Tiesi and countryman Juan Pablo Socino form a new-look midfield partnership, Tiesi making his playing comeback three weeks ago with a full 80 minutes in the Falcons’ bonus-point victory at Gloucester as they secured an Aviva A-League semi-final place.
 
Simon Hammersley returns at full-back as Alex Tait moves up to the wing, Sinoti Sinoti making way after missing the match through injury.
 
In the pack there is just one personnel change as Sean Robinson’s return to the second row sees Mark Wilson move to the blind-side flank, director of rugby Dean Richards well aware of the stakes as his side aim to take a massive step closer to securing their top-flight status.
 
Richards said: "In some respects you would want it to be like any other week, but everybody is billing it to be slightly different. Having said that, we are four points clear of them with two games left after this weekend, so the pressure really is on London Irish."
 
Aiming for keep cool heads and a positive mind-set, he added: "In desperate times people do desperate things, and there is no doubt about the fact that when London Irish come up here they will be throwing the kitchen sink and everything else at it. From our point of view it is understanding what they bring to the table, going out there and delivering a win. To do that we need to deliver a performance which is controlled, and yet at the same time shows the ambition to go out there and win."
 
Making no attempt to shirk the importance of the fixture and the responsibility which rests on his own shoulders, Richards said: "It comes with the job, the territory, and you just have to accept that. It is of course important to keep Aviva Premiership rugby in the North East, and we and the players understand that importance. Everybody wants to be up there, and players look forward to these kinds of big games.
 
"There is a real excitement in the camp about this fixture, there really is. And not in a way whereby it is over the top. It is knowing that it is a big game, and knowing that the nerves and excitement go hand in hand with that in the lead-up to big games. It is nice to see."
 
Strong early ticket sales suggest Sunday’s match will top the Falcons’ previous highest home crowd of the season, with 7,218 supporters having been in attendance for the 26-25 victory over Northampton Saints on February 21.
 
Tickets are available by calling 0871 226 6060, via www.newcastle-falcons.co.uk or from the stadium in person.
 
Newcastle Falcons team to play London Irish (Sunday, 3pm, Kingston Park)
 
15 Simon Hammersley
14 Alex Tait
13 Gonzalo Tiesi
12 Juan Pablo Socino
11 Marcus Watson
10 Mike Delany
9 Michael Young
 
1 Rob Vickers
2 George McGuigan
3 Taione Vea
4 Calum Green
5 Sean Robinson
6 Mark Wilson
7 Will Welch (captain)
8 Nili Latu
 
Replacements
16 Scott Lawson
17 Alex Rogers
18 Mike Cusack
19 Mouritz Botha
20 Ally Hogg
21 Sonatane Takulua
22 Craig Willis
23 Chris Harris

Latest News

Exeter Chiefs set their sights on this weekend’s Singha 7s

Exeter Chiefs will be looking to use the buzz of last season’s success as inspiration in their bid win the…

Exeter Chiefs set their sights on this weekend’s Singha 7s

Ben Vellacott gunning for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s glory with Gloucester Rugby

Ben Vellacott is certain Gloucester Rugby’s exciting line-up for the 2017 Singha Premiership Rugby 7s can go all the way…

Ben Vellacott

Ones to watch: Singha Premiership Rugby 7s 2017

England internationals, Premiership Rugby record holders, Olympic medallists and the hottest rugby talent in the country – put all that…

Singha Premiership Rugby 7s live on BT Sport with highlights on Channel 5

Channel 5’s landmark coverage of domestic rugby begins in earnest this week, with the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s finally returning…

Saracens name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Tom Whiteley will skipper a youthful Saracens side in this weekend’s Singha 7s tournament at Franklin’s Gardens, after the Men…

Tom Whiteley

Will Homer to captain Bath Rugby at the Singha 7s

Will Homer will captain Bath Rugby at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s this weekend at Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton. The scrum-half,…

Will Homer

Saints squad announced for Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series 

The Northampton Saints squad has been announced for this weekend’s Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series, which is being played in…

Jamie Elliott

Harlequins announce squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Henry Cheeseman will captain the 12-man squad against Gloucester Rugby and London Irish in Pool B of the Singha 7s.…

Henry Cheeseman

Wasps name squad for 2017 Premiership Rugby Singha 7s

Wasps have today named their squad for the 2017 Premiership Rugby Singha 7s, which will be hosted at Franklin’s Gardens…

Dan Robson

London Irish name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

London Irish have named their side for the 2017 Singha Premiership Rugby 7s, which will be held at Northampton Saints’…

Rory BRand

Harlequins set for pre-season training camp at adidas’ German HQ

Following the conclusion of the Premiership Rugby Singha 7s series this weekend, Harlequins travel to Herzogenaurach to continue their pre-season…

Harlequins set for pre-season training camp at adidas’ German HQ

Chiefs sign van der Sluys

Exeter Chiefs have bolstered their squad ahead of the new 2017/18 season with the acquisition of powerful South African lock…

Wilhelm van der Sluys

James Lang extends his time with Harlequins

Harlequins is proud to confirm today (Wednesday 27th July) that Harlequins Academy member James Lang has extended his time with…

James Lang extends his time with Harlequins

Sharks Announce Exciting Squad For Singha 7s

Sale Sharks can announce an exciting squad to take part in the Premiership Rugby Singha 7's this weekend at Franklin's…

Paolo Odogwu

Leicester Tigers Singha Premiership Rugby 7s team announcement

Leicester Tigers have named their squad for the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s. Tigers take on Newcastle Falcons and Wasps on…

Alex Glashan

Will Kaye set for birthday to remember with Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers’ new link-up with Loughborough University will provide youngster Will Kaye with an unforgettable birthday present. The Loughborough student…

Cameron Cowell captains Newcastle Falcons in Singha 7s

England 7s international Cameron Cowell will captain Newcastle Falcons in this week's Singha Premiership Rugby 7s at Northampton's Franklin's Gardens.…

Cameron Cowell

Stelling to lead Warriors at Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens

Max Stelling will lead Warriors in the new-look Singha Premiership Sevens this weekend at Northampton Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens. Stelling, who…

Max Stelling

Exeter Chiefs name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Ricky Pellow says Exeter Chiefs are relishing the chance to kick-off the new 2017/18 season with a big showing at…

Max Bodilly