Newcastle v Leicester Tigers Premiership Preview

Newcastle Falcons host Saracens at Kingston Park

Leicester Tigers have named England hooker Tom Youngs as captain of their team to play Newcastle Falcons in the Aviva Premiership at Kingston Park.

Youngs, Tom Croft and Geoff Parling all take their places in the starting line-up after being released from England’s Six Nations squad.

Parling is partnered by Sebastian De Chaves in the Tigers second row, with Laurence Pearce at No8. Niall Morris returns to the team in the only change to the backline following last week’s win over Sale Sharks.

There is a place among the replacements for Julian Salvi after missing the last two games with a calf injury and for hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini as he returns from international duty with Italy.

Tigers will wear the club’s alternate orange kit at Kingston Park on Sunday.

Newcastle Falcons have won only one of their last eight Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, 38-7 at home to bottom of the table London Welsh in round 13.

The Falcons are unbeaten at Kingston Park in Premiership Rugby in 2015.

The only side that has scored more league points in the last six rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby than Leicester Tigers is Wasps with 22 to Leicester’s 21, the Tigers only defeat in that period coming on a trip to Harlequins in round 13.

The Tigers are the third best away team in Premiership Rugby – only Exeter and Northampton have scored more points on the road this season.

Leicester have won their last ten matches against Newcastle in all tournaments since the Falcons’ 14-10 victory at Kingston Park in Premiership Rugby on 27 March 2009.

Newcastle Falcons have brought in Tipuna, Rogers and Mayhew as the three changes to the side that narrowly lost to Saracens last week.

The starting fifteen shows only three changes from the side that earned a losing bonus point and outscored their hosts three tries to one last Saturday with two coming in the pack and one in the backs.

The main section of the backline remains unchanged, and having demonstrated some of his brutally effective power last week to score a try, Alesana Tuilagi will have an opportunity to unleash that on his former club while Alex Tait could be in line for bout of sibling rivalry at fullback, should brother Mathew be named in the Tigers side.

At half back, an injury picked up by Mike Blair offers Ruki Tipuna the chance to impose the fast, upbeat tempo he has brought to recent matches from the bench, right from the off while Tom Catterick retains the fly half jersey for seventh Aviva Premiership match in a row.

In the forward pack, changes come in the front and back rows as an injury sustained by Juan Pablo Orlandi on a pectoral muscle sees Alex Rogers come in for his first start for the club at Tight Head prop.

Stalwarts of the Loose Head and Hooker shirts this season, Rob Vickers and Scott Lawson retain those positions while Kane Thompson and Dom Barrow remain in place as the starting locks.

In the back row, a fit again Richard Mayhew returns on the blindside flank with club captain Will Welch switching over to his usual open-side role alongside Mark Wilson at number eight.

This pair had a busy day at Allianz Park making 28 tackle between them with Wilson’s effort impressive in particular as he played through the effect of a virus that had affected him the week prior.

On the bench, Rob Hawking and Mark Irving are joined by Rob O’Donnell in providing the front row cover, with a short term shortage of the Falcons own propping ranks necessitating an agreement with Worcester to allow the club to field the required number of front row replacements this weekend.

Josh Furno takes a place alongside Andy Saull, who himself was a try scorer last weekend as the other forward replacements.

New signing Sonatane Takulua could be in line for his Newcastle Falcons debut as he lines up in the number 21 shirt while Gonzalo Tiesi and Noah Cato complete the Falcons side.

Match : Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers
Date : Sunday 8th March
Venue : Kingston Park,
Kick Off : 3pm
Live on: N.A
Match Officials
Referee :
Luke Pearce (36th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Andrew Jackson and Roy Maybank
TMO: Trevor Fisher.


Newcastle Falcons

15 Alex Tait, 14 Sinoti Sinoti, 13 Adam Powell, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Tom Catterick, 9 Ruki Tipuna, 8 Mark Wilson, 7 Will Welch, 6 Richard Mayhew, 5 Dom Barrow, 4 Kane Thompson, 3 Alex Rogers, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Rob Vickers.

Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Mark Irving, 18 Rob O’Donnell, 19 Josh Furno, 20 Andy Saull, 21 Sonatane Takulua, 22 Gonzalo Tiesi, 23 Noah Cato.

Leicester Tigers

15 Mathew Tait, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Vereneki Goneva, 12 Seremaia Bai, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Laurence Pearce, 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Sebastian De Chaves, 3 Logovi’i Mulipola, 2 Tom Youngs (c), 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Jordan Crane, 20 Julian Salvi, 21 David Mele, 22 Tommy Bell, 23 Jack Roberts.

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