Falcons change one for Northampton Saints

Newcastle Falcons have made just one change to their side for Friday night’s Guinness Premiership visit of Northampton Saints to Kingston Park (kick-off 8pm).

Following on from Sunday’s 15-11 win at high-flying London Irish director of rugby Steve Bates has chosen to stick with the bulk of that side, the only change coming on the wing as Tom Biggs replaces fellow Yorkshireman Danny Williams.

Speaking ahead of the game, Bates said: “Last weekend was a fantastic result down at London Irish, on the back of a lot of hard work.

“A Sunday to Friday turnaround has meant we have had to manage the players’ workload during the week, but everyone is keen to get back out there following such a great result in Reading.”

With a relatively clean bill of health on the injury front seeing Brent Wilson as the only front-line absentee while Filipo Levi remains on international duty with Samoa, Bates said: “We’re picking from strength, but we know that Northampton Saints will provide a huge challenge on Friday night.

“They have quality players right across the field and, like ourselves, have won their last three Premiership Rugby games, so it should be a cracking match for the supporters.

“One player we will all be familiar with, of course, is our former captain Phil Dowson, and knowing Dows as I do I’m sure we can look forward to a suitably firey encounter.”

With the Newcastle Falcons hopeful of recording their biggest home crowd of the season, Bates said: “The Friday night atmospheres are always special at Kingston Park, and if our fans come out in their numbers then it will be a great occasion to really lift the players.”

Newcastle Falcons team to face Northampton Saints:

15 Alex Tait 14 Charlie Amesbury 13 Rob Vickerman 12 Tane Tu’ipulotu 11 Tom Biggs 10 Jimmy Gopperth 9 Micky Young

1 Jon Golding 2 Rob Vickers 3 Carl Hayman (captain) 4 James Hudson 5 Mark Sorenson 6 Tim Swinson 7 Will Welch 8 Adam Balding

Replacements:16 Alex Walker 17 Micky Ward 18 Laurence Ovens 19 Josh Afu 20 Ed Williamson 21 Hall Charlton 22 Rob Miller 23 Gcobani Bobo

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