Newcastle Falcons welcome international duo Kieran Brookes and Josh Furno back to their starting line up this week as they go in search of back to back home wins in the Aviva Premiership on Friday night against Wasps (Kick Off 19:45).
Looking to bounce back from a disappointing trip to Exeter last weekend director of rugby Dean Richards has made carefully considered changes as he and his coaching staff look to take on an in form Wasps side and close down the gap to the tight knit group that occupy the Premiership’s mid-table.
In the back line, Alex Tait will be aiming to provide an assured presence at full back while the only other change for Falcons backs sees Noah Cato make a welcome return from injury, replacing Alesana Tuilagi on the left wing.
Remaining in situ, Sinoti Sinoti will be looking to add to his try scoring tally from the right wing, Adam Powell and Juan Pablo Socino retain the 13 and 12 shirts respectively, while Mike Blair and Tom Catterick start at 9 and 10 for the seventh time this season, as the combination once again looks to conduct the play in an entertaining manner that has been at the base of a number of entertaining performances.
In the forwards, the front and second row undergo an overhaul with Rob Hawkins stepping up in place of Scott Lawson, who misses out through injury and Kieran Brookes returning from his England commitments for Juan Pablo Orlandi. Rob Vickers however provides continuity as he remains at loose head.
The second row sees the returnee theme continue as Josh Furno and Dom Barrow take the starting berths, the former available again following two weeks away with Italy, while Barrow continues to progress on his return from injury.
A stable back row once again sees the in-form trio of Mark Wilson, captain Will Welch and Ally Hogg line up at blindside flanker, openside flanker and number eight respectively.
On the bench, home grown hooker George Mcguigan, Argentina international Juan Pablo Orlandi and academy graduate Scott Wilson provide front row cover with Samoan international Kane Thompson and Richard Mayhew providing further impact options in the forwards.
In the back replacements, livewire scrum half Ruki Tipuna and Aregentine centre Gonzalo Tiesi are joined by Rory Clegg, ready to provide options to the coaches should the need arise.
NEWCASTLE FALCONS v WASPS – 20/2/2015 19:45 KO
15 Alex Tait, 14 Sinoti Sinoti, 13 Adam Powell, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Noah Cato, 10 Tom Catterick, 9 Mike Blair, 1 Rob Vickers, 2 Rob Hawkins, 3 Kieran Brookes, 4 Josh Furno, 5 Dom Barrow, 6 Mark Wilson, 7 Will Welch (C), 8 Ally Hogg
16 George McGuigan, 17 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Kane Thompson, 20 Richard Mayhew, 21 Ruki Tipuna, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Gonzalo Tiesi