TOP BAR - Fixtures

Newcastle Falcons team to face Wasps

Callum Chick will make his Aviva Premiership debut for Newcastle Falcons on Sunday when they travel to Wasps.

The 19-year-old No.8 was part of the England Under-20s team which won the Junior World Championship in June, and started for the Falcons in last weekend’s 50-7 European Challenge Cup victory over Grenoble.

Newcastle make four personnel changes from the eight-try triumph, their last visit to the Ricoh Arena delivering a losing bonus point in a 9-8 reverse.

Sinoti Sinoti returns on the wing for Alex Tait, Canadian international Evan Olmstead replacing Will Witty at lock. Michael Young comes in for Tonga scrum-half Sonatane Takulua, a new half-back pairing completed by the return of Mike Delany at fly-half.

Hoping to continue the early-season form which has seen his side climb into the top half of the table after three wins from six and a pair of losing bonus points, Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “Wasps are a good side.

“They and Saracens are the two who are on fire at the moment, it is a great challenge for us but our boys are on a bit of a high. We are looking forward to it, and the chance to test yourself against the best is motivation in itself.”

Having lost 9-8 on their last visit to the Ricoh Arena in February, Richards said: “We should have won there, but that was last season. We were disappointed with that, and again when we should have had a bonus point from our home game with Wasps. It doesn’t hold any fear for us, we have just to go down there and do the job. It rests in our own hands.

“Wasps have threats all over the place, so it would not be right to only focus on one. They are a quality outfit who have spent a lot of money, but we have good players as well. If we play to our capability it will be an interesting game.

“They have spent a huge amount of money on the team, it is a quality side and full of internationals in all the right places. Those guys can have a big impact, and we understand that. It is about us now getting prepared, going down there with the right attitude and doing the job.”

Newcastle Falcons team to face Wasps (Sunday, 2.30pm, Ricoh Arena):

15 Simon Hammersley
14 Marcus Watson
13 Dominic Waldouck
12 Juan Pablo Socino
11 Sinoti Sinoti
10 Mike Delany
9 Michael Young

1 Sam Lockwood
2 Ben Sowrey
3 Jon Welsh
4 Calum Green
5 Evan Olmstead
6 Mark Wilson
7 Will Welch (captain)
8 Callum Chick

Replacements:
16 Scott Lawson
17 Rob Vickers
18 David Wilson
19 Will Witty
20 Ally Hogg
21 Sonatane Takulua
22 Joel Hodgson
23 Fred Burdon

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys

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