Newcastle v Exeter Chiefs Premiership Preview

Newcastle Falcons host London Irish at Kingston Park

Newcastle Falcons have named a side with two changes to the starting side that lost to Wasps for this week’s Aviva Premiership match against Exeter Chiefs at Kingston Park on Sunday.

Last year’s players’ player of the season Alex Tait will start at Full Back playing alongside Samoan international Sinoti Sinoti and Noah Cato, whose last game for the Falcons saw him pick up a try against former team Northampton Saints.

Completing the back line are Gonzalo Tiesi and Adam Powell in the Centre, Juan Pablo Socino at 10 and last weekend’s scorer Ruki Tipuna at Scrum Half.

The pack remains unchanged from that which travelled to Adams Park last Sunday with Kieran Brookes, Scott Lawson and Scott Wilson comprising the Front Row and former Leeds pair Calum Green and Dom Barrow making their third starting appearance together in the Falcons’ Second Row.

Mark Wilson, Ally Hogg and captain Will Welch complete the pack. The Falcons include a further two changes among their replacements for Sunday’s game with Mike Blair and Tom Catterick moving onto the bench in place of Warren Fury and Alex Tuilagi.

Newcastle Wasps have been defeated in their last twenty Aviva Premiership Rugby matches – the third worst losing sequence in the history of the tournament – since beating London Irish at Kingston Park on 27th October 2013.

Exeter Chiefs solitary defeat in their last five Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures was 20-22 at home to Leicester Tigers in round 2.

The Chiefs have won their last four away games since their 15-45 loss at Leicester in March.

Exeter have won all six previous Premiership Rugby clashes with Newcastle, whilst the Falcons have defeated Exeter twice before at Kingston Park in other competitions: in the Tetley’s Bitter Cup in January 1998 and the Anglo-Welsh Cup in February 2011.

Newcastle’s new 4G surface has ruled England international Jack Nowell out of contention this weekend. Having only just returned to the fray following months on the sidelines, Exeter’s medical team do not want to risk the winger’s long-term health by getting him to run on the synthetic surface.

His absence is one of several changes Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter has made to his winning formula from that which saw off Harlequins a week ago.

Welsh international Tom James replaces Nowell on the wing, whilst other changes see Ian Whitten come into the centre in place of Sam Hill and Don Armand gets his first start of the season in the second row ahead of of Mitch Lees.

On the bench, Hill is joined by Namibian international Chrysander Botha and Haydn Thomas, whilst Irish lock Ryan Caldwell is also back in the mix having missed out last week due to a rib injury.

With personnel all in place, Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter is now hoping his squad can pick up from where they left off against Conor O’Shea’s side last Sunday.

Match : Newcastle Falcons v Exeter Chiefs
Date : Sunday 5th October
Venue : Kingston Park,
Kick Off : 3pm
Live on: N/A
Match Officials
: Tim Wigglesworth (86th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank and Paul Dix.
TMO: David Grashoff


Newcastle Falcons

15. Alex Tait, 14. Sinoti Sinoti, 13. Gonzalo Tiesi, 12. Adam Powell, 11. Noah Cato, 10. Juan Pablo Socino, 9. Ruki Tipuna, 8. Ally Hogg, 7. Will Welch (c), 6. Mark Wilson, 5. Dom Barrow, 4. Calum Green, 3. Scott Wilson, 2. Scott Lawson , 1. Kieran Brookes

Replacements: 16. Rob Hawkins, 17. Alex Rogers, 18. Oliver Tomaszczyk, 19. Jos

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