Newcastle Falcons’ welcome back Samoan International and their 2014/15 season top try scorer Sinoti Sinoti to the starting line-up for this Friday’s Season Opener against Gloucester Rugby at Kingston Park (8pm kick off).
Making his 31st appearance for the Falcons Sinoti will be joined in the back three by young guns Tom Catterick and Simon Hammersley. All three will be looking to build on solid performances in the 2014/15 campaign.
Former All Black Mike Delany will start at Fly Half after joining the Falcons this summer from Top 14 outfit Clermont Auvergne. Meanwhile countryman Ruki Tipuna continues at Scrum Half after a string of impressive performances during pre-season.
Completing the back line are Adam Powell and Chris Harris who line up in the centres.
Up front Tongan international Taione Vea will make his club debut at Tighthead joined by Falcons stalwart Rob Vickers at Loosehead and Scottish international Hooker Scott Lawson.
England international Mouritz Botha is joined in the engine room by Calum Green, backed up by Club Captain Will Welch at Openside and Richard Mayhew on the Blindside Flank.
USA international Todd Clever completes the Falcons’ pack at number 8 after impressing on his first two appearances for the club since arriving in the summer.
The Falcons’ bench is buoyed by returning World Cup Stars Eric Fry and Josh Furno who return from international duty after representing the USA and Italy respectively.
Fry is joined by Falcons Academy graduates George McGuigan and Scott Wilson as front row replacements whilst Scottish international Ally Hogg lines up alongside Furno to provide further forward options.
Elsewhere on the Falcons’ bench Scrum Half Micky Young is in line to pull on a Falcons’ jersey for the 80th time in what would be his first appearance since re-signing from Bath over the summer. Further support is added to the Falcons’ backs through Fly Half Craig Willis and Wing Tom Penny.
Newcastle Falcons vs Gloucester:
15. Simon Hammersley, 14. Tom Catterick, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Adam Powell, 11. Sinoti Sinoti, 10. Mike Delany, 9. Ruki Tipuna;
1. Rob Vickers, 2. Scott Lawson, 3. Taione Vea, 4. Mouritz Botha, 5. Calum Green, 6. Richard Mayhew, 7. Will Welch (c), 8. Todd Clever.
16. George McGuigan, 17. Eric Fry, 18. Scott Wilson, 19. Josh Furno, 20. Ally Hogg, 21. Micky Young, 22. Craig Willis, 23. Tom Penny.