Falcons make five changes for Gloucester

Newcastle Falcons have made five changes for Saturday’s Guinness Premiership trip to Gloucester. Springbok Gcobani Bobo starts at outside centre in place of ankle injury victim Rob Vickerman, with the only other change to the backs being at scrum half as Micky Young is replaced by Hall Charlton.

Young left the field on a stretcher during last Friday’s home date with Northampton, but having having been cleared of serious injury the England Saxons star has been included on the bench.

In the pack all three changes come in the back row, as Samoan international Filipo Levi, Tongan flanker Josh Afu and fit-again openside Brent Wilson all return to the starting XV.

Tim Swinson pushes up to the second row with Mark Sorenson dropping out, as the Falcons look to record their third successive Guinness Premiership away win.

Director of rugby, Steve Bates, said: “Last Friday’s result against Northampton was obviously disappointing given the run we had been on in the league, but Saturday down at Gloucester represents a great chance to get straight back on the horse.

“We know that Gloucester, especially at Kingsholm, will provide an excellent test, but we will be looking to continue our strong away form in this competition to build on our recent wins at Bath and London Irish.”

Speaking on his selection for this weekend, the former England scrum half added: “We have a few injuries to contend with, as is the case for most sides at this time of year.

“We are fortunate to have quality replacements available in all positions though, and we welcome back Brent Wilson from an elbow injury and Filipo Levi from international duty as well as being able to call up the likes of Josh Afu, Gcobani Bobo and Hall Charlton.”

Newcastle Falcons team to face Gloucester:

15 Charlie Amesbury, 14 Danny Williams, 13 Gcobani Bobo, 12 Tane Tu’ipulotu, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Hall Charlton

1 Jon Golding, 2 Rob Vickers, 3 Carl Hayman (captain), 4 James Hudson, 5 Tim Swinson, 6 Josh Afu, 7 Brent Wilson, 8 Filipo Levi

Replacements:16 Matt Thompson, 17 Micky Ward, 18 Laurence Ovens, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Will Welch, 21 Micky Young, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Alex Tait

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