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Premiership Rugby

Newcastle Falcons name squad for Quins clash

Newcastle Falcons name squad for Quins clash

Newcastle Falcons head coach, Alan Tait has made thirteen changes for Sunday’s LV= Cup clash with Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop.

Tait has made a string of changes to the side that beat the Ospreys 18-17 in last week’s LV= Cup opener, with Luke Eves, Luke Fielden and Jimmy Gopperth the most notable absentees.

Alex Tait starts at full back in place of Jeremy Manning who slots in at No. 10 and the Falcons welcome back Michael Tait, Gcobani Bobo and Andrew Henderson to the backline. Chris Pilgrim is replaced by Micky Young at scum half with Will Welch, Redford Pennycook and Tim Swinson promoted from the bench.

“The injuries have taken its toll again and we’re a couple of guys down this week and obviously we’ve got a massive game the week after. Some of the calls were not 50-50 but the likes of Rob Vickers were close to been in the twenty to play. But I said to Rob it’s a long way to travel and it’s a big journey and I wanted him to stay at home because he’ll start against Gloucester.

“There’s been a couple of decisions like that where players need to rest and nurse their niggles rather than push them out this week. This gives some of the other lads an opportunity but this is what this competition is all about for us and it gives some of the other lads a chance, particularly the youngsters,” Tait said.

The Quins stunned reigning Aviva Premiership champions, Leicester last week with an impressive 34-25 victory at Welford Road. And Tait is well aware of the dangers posed by the Londoners who are eying LV= Cup success.

Tait said: “You listen to Connor O’Shea on the TV and they’re talking themselves up. I think they’re not a bad outfit and they do want to play a certain style of rugby with a fast tempo game. We certainly had them watched against Leicester and it was a hell of a result for them to go to the champions and play like that.

“They played some really good stuff and Nick Evans is obviously key and he’s buzzing at the moment. He’s their best player and he’s playing outstanding rugby as the tempo they like to play suits his style of play so we’re going to have to go down there and match their tempo.

“You can sometimes go overboard looking at what other teams can do and we have to concentrate on ourselves We definitely have to concentrate on what we’re going to do against them and I’m actually quite excited with the team I’ve selected. We’re going down there to have a real crack at the Quins. If we go down with the right attitude and the right game plan there’s nothing to say we can’t get a result.”

With whole sale changes to the Falcons squad, Tait believes it will be a good test for some players to cement a regular first team berth.

Tait added: “These lads have been thrown together this week and the conditions have been soft underfoot so it’s been hard but we’ve had to look after ourselves. When we get down there the boys know the challenge and I know the challenge.

“Quins will be on the up after their win at Leicester and they’re not changing much to the team that’s carrying them through at the moment. They might be targeting the LV= Cup, throwing everything into this competition because whoever wins it will get the rewards of Europe.

“We really need to get fired into the LV= Cup because there is prize money for each game so we kept them happy on Friday with the win against the Ospreys. There’s prize money for every round and it’s obviously a competition where there’s players away on international duty and teams that don’t get disturbed much have got a big chance. Unfortunately we’ve had a lot of injuries and we’ve had to prioritize ourselves.

Newcastle Falcons

15 Alex Tait
14 Michael Tait
13 Gcobani Bobo
12 Andrew Henderson
11 Charlie Amesbury
10 Jeremy Manning
9 Micky Young

1 Grant Shiells
2 Joe Graham
3 Kieran Brookes
4 Glen Townson
5 Tim Swinson (captain)
6 Will Welch
7 Redford Pennycook
8 Mark Wilson


16 Sean Crombie
17 Micky Ward
18 James Hall
19 Brent Wilson
20 Ally Hogg
21 Hall Charlton
22 James Fitzpatrick
23 Tom Catterick

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