Newcastle Falcons name team to play Exeter Chiefs in Gallagher Premiership Rugby
Calum Green becomes a Newcastle Falcons centurion when he plays his 100th game for the club during Friday’s Gallagher Premiership visit of Exeter Chiefs to Kingston Park Stadium.
The lock-forward leads the league for line-out takes once again this season and packs down in a side showing four changes from the one which won 23-20 at Worcester Warriors last weekend, Tom Arscott making his competitive debut for the Falcons in the 7.45pm kick-off.
The experienced winger joined the Falcons in the summer and partners Alex Tait out wide – the other two changes coming in the forward pack.
Adam Brocklebank makes his first Gallagher Premiership start, the 23-year-old England Students loose-head having impressed from the bench in all three of the Falcons’ games this season, while Gary Graham comes into a reshuffled back row in place of Callum Chick.
Newcastle were 28-20 winners on Exeter’s last visit to Kingston Park Stadium, director of rugby Dean Richards saying ahead of Friday’s game: “It’s a big challenge for us, and that’s exciting. We’re at home, we want to get our home account underway for the season and everyone’s looking forward to it.”
Respectful of a Chiefs side who top the Gallagher Premiership table with a perfect 15 points from 15, the Falcons boss added: “Exeter are incredibly well-drilled, they’ve been together a long time and they have very little player turnover. That means they know their roles inside out, they execute it every week and that’s why they are where they are as a consistent top-two side over a number of years.
“They have a superb understanding of how they want to play, they’re ruthless in executing it and that makes them very difficult to play against, but as we showed last season up here they are beatable. They’ve got a lot of quality and they all sing off the same hymn sheet, but we’ve also got a lot of threat within our own side and they’ll know they’re not in for an easy game against us.”
Keen to kick on from last weekend’s win at Sixways, their first there for five years, Richards said: “We’re delighted to have won at Worcester because it’s not a place where we have done very well in recent years.
“It’s great to get one under our belts after all that we’ve shown during our three games this season, barring the first half at Leicester.
“We didn’t make things easy last weekend by going down to 14 and even 13 men, but we showed a lot of character and resolve to hold out.”
Tickets for Friday’s 7.45pm kick-off are available by calling 0871 226 6060.
Newcastle Falcons team to face Exeter Chiefs (Friday, 7.45pm, Kingston Park Stadium)
15 Simon Hammersley
14 Alex Tait
13 Chris Harris
12 Johnny Williams
11 Tom Arscott
10 Toby Flood
9 Sonatane Takulua
1 Adam Brocklebank
2 George McGuigan
3 Logovi’i Mulipola
4 Calum Green
5 Will Witty
6 Gary Graham
7 Will Welch (captain)
8 Mark Wilson
16 Santiago Socino
17 Sami Mavinga
18 Jack Payne
19 Tevita Cavubati
20 Callum Chick
21 Sam Stuart
22 Joel Hodgson
23 Tom Penny
Referee: Andrew Jackson