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Newcastle Falcons team to face Worcester Warriors

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Newcastle Falcons have named the same starting XV for the second week running as they prepare for Sunday’s televised trip to Worcester Warriors.

Will Welch once again captains the side as Newcastle stick with the same team which defeated Gloucester 18-13 at Kingsholm last weekend. The only change to the match-day 23 sees David Wilson named on the bench just a week after re-joining his home town club from Bath, the 44-times-capped England prop having recovered from a minor calf strain.

Head coach John Wells said ahead of the Sixways showdown: “We’re going to have to score tries because, with the best will in the world, this Worcester team can score against anyone. They’ve got a set-piece starting attack as good as any in the league and they’ve got outside backs who can score tries for fun. We’ve got to make sure that what ball they do get, they don’t get any momentum as a result of that.

“They do have some guys that are not necessarily bad tacklers, but are probably not the best defenders, and we’ve got to try and exploit that. When those opportunities come along we’ve got to be ruthless, like we were last week. If we only get three opportunities we’ve got to score three tries.”

Having last week won an Aviva Premiership away game for the first time in almost two years, Wells added: “I think our lads went down with a good attitude and some good spirit behind them, but they still had to go and dig it out. We’re all delighted that having played so well we got the result, and saw ourselves over the line. After the Leicester game the week before we came off the pitch thinking that was one that got away, but at Gloucester we were thinking we deserved to win that one.

“There are a number of differences from last year to this year. Part of that is rugby education, part of it is guys growing up individually and collectively. Largely it’s the same group of players but they’ve perhaps learnt how to handle situations like that better, so when they were put in it as they were last week, the information they’ve been getting over the last couple of years, the feedback and their own experiences, they’re starting to understand what they need to do to handle situations like that better.

“We’ve got something to cling on to now. We’ve probably been like a broken record every time we’ve gone away saying ‘this game’s there for the taking, blah, blah, blah’. We prepared a little bit differently for the Gloucester game and got a result. Because of that they’ve got something to hang on to. They know they can go through tough games and do it. We’ve just got to make sure we take this performance and put ourselves into a position to win a game, and we can say we’ve won a game in those circumstances this time last week. There’s no reason why we can’t do it again.”

Having won all four of their pre-season games and two of their four Aviva Premiership outings, Wells said: “We’ve been competitive in all the games except Bath away. We haven’t dominated the play to the extent we can have a cigar during the game, but we’ve been competitive all the way through.

“Worcester are probably not too dissimilar to ourselves in that respect. They’ve been ahead by two scores in both their home games and gone on to draw, they’re scoring tries for fun and no doubt they will be targeting this as one of those games that is must-win if they’ve got any aspirations to climb up the league.

“I know how we’ve approached the game. Our guys haven’t just been partying, they appreciate the importance of this game and they’ve got to make sure their heads are in gear and they repeat the processes we went through building up to the Gloucester victory. A lot of it rests on personal responsibility and making sure their attitude will be red hot at 3 o’clock on Sunday afternoon.”

Newcastle Falcons team v Worcester Warriors (Sunday, 3pm, Sixways, live on BT Sport)

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 David Wilson
19 Will Witty
20 Daniel Temm
21 Michael Young
22 Joel Hodgson
23 Belisario Agulla

Referee: Tom Foley

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