Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins Premiership Preview

Newcastle Falcons host Harlequins at Kingston Park

Harlequins have named their team to play Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday.

Italian international scrum-half Tito Tebaldi makes his first Aviva Premiership start and partners captain Nick Evans in the half backs. George Lowe joins Harry Sloan in the centres as the back three remains unchanged.

Among the forwards, Rob Buchanan is the only change to the front row, as James Horwill and Charlie Matthews complete the front five. Dave Ward starts in the back row alongside Luke Wallace and Mat Luamanu.

Among the replacements, first year Academy member Calum Waters will look to make his first senior appearance for the Club.

In injury news, Karl Dickson underwent surgery on a hand injury sustained last week. The scrum-half is expected to be out for up to ten weeks.

Nick Easter will be available for selection next week having been absent from the squad for personal reasons.

Newcastle Falcons have won their last three matches at Kingston Park in all tournaments since Saracens were the visitors in Aviva Premiership Rugby in early December.

The Falcons solitary victory in Premiership Rugby this season was at home to Bath in round 8.

Harlequins seven game unbeaten run in all tournaments ended in Montpellier on Friday evening.

Quins have lost just one of their last seven Aviva Premiership rugby fixtures, by a single point at Exeter in round 5.

Newcastle beat Harlequins 37-21 at Kingston Park the last time the teams met and have not obtained back to back victories over the Londoners in Premiership Rugby since 2000.

Meanwhile Newcastle have named Italian winger Giamba Venditti in their side as one of two changes from the team that began their last league game against London Irish, with the 33 times capped winger coming in for Marcus Watson on the left wing, in what will be his fifth start since joining the club.

The rest of the backline remains unchanged and features the same line up that took a bonus point victory against Brive Correze.

Simon Hammersley, the scorer of the scintillating match winning try last Saturday, remains at fullback, the right wing benefits from Alex Tait’s wealth of experience gained from 108 premiership matches while the balanced pairing of Juan Pablo Socino and Chris Harris continue in the centres.

Conducting play from the half backs, the experienced head of Michael Young again lines up alongside the developing Craig Willis for the third consecutive home game.

Up front, there are similarly limited changes to the club’s last premiership outing with the fully fit Taione Vea switching his place on the January 10th bench with Paddy Ryan.

Alongside the Tongan international tighthead, the wisdom and gnarl of 242 Aviva Premiership appearances pack down, with Scottish international Scott Lawson at hooker and club stalwart Rob Vickers at loose head prop.

After showing huge promise since its debut against Leicester Tigers on Boxing Day, the second row partnership again sees the ever dependable Mark Wilson line up alongside the clubs current top line out performer Sean Robinson.

Along the back row, Will Welch will again captain the side from the blindside flank, Nili Latu will again be a key factor on the openside flank while Ally Hogg will steer the pack from the base at number eight.

On the replacement bench, the experienced theme continues. Alongside the aforementioned Ryan, American international Eric Fry provides further options at prop, while George McGuigan stands ready to cover the hooker position.

Mouritz Botha and Richard Mayhew will cover the second and back rows, while the ever exciting Tongan scrum half Tane Takulua covers that position in the number 21 shirt.

Andy Goode and Adam Powell complete the line-up of a side, that will look to harness the support of another big Kingston Park crowd on Sunday.

Match : Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins
Date : Sunday 31 January
Venue : Kingston Park,
Kick Off : 3pm
Live on: N.A
Match Officials
Referee :Luke Pearce (45th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Darren Gamage & Paul Burton.
TMO: Trevor Fisher.


Newcastle Falcons

15 Simon Hammersley 14 Alex Tait 13 Chris Harris 12 Juan Pablo Socino 11 Giamba Venditti 10 Craig Willis 9 Michael Young 1 Rob Vickers 2 Scott Lawson 3 Taione Vea 4 Mark Wilson 5 Sean Robinson 6 Will Welch 7 Nili Latu 8 Ally Hogg

Replacements : 16 George McGuigan 17 Eric Fry 18 Paddy Ryan 19 Mouritz Botha 20 Richard Mayhew 21 Sonatane Takulua 22 Andy Goode 23 Adam Powell


15. Ross Chisholm , 14. Marland Yarde , 13. George Lowe , 12. Harry Sloan , 11. Charlie Walker , 10. Nick Evans (C) , 9. Tito Tebaldi, 8. Mat Luamanu , 7. Dave Ward , 6. Luke Wallace , 5. Charlie Matthews , 4. James Horwill, 3. Will Collier, 2. Rob Buchanan, 1. Mark Lambert

Replacements : 16. Joe Gray , 17. Owen Evans , 18. Kyle Sinckler , 19. George Merrick , 20. James Chisholm , 21. Calum Waters , 22. Ben Botica , 23. Tim Swiel

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