Big Match Preview Falcons V Plymouth

Thursday 29 November 2012

Andrew Higgins replaces Ryan Shortland on the wing, the only change for Newcastle Falcons as they aim to continue their unbeaten record with victory over Plymouth Albion at Kingston Park this Friday (kick-off 8pm).

Promising youngster Scott Wilson comes in for Oliver Tomaszczyk on the bench, while Taiasina Tu’ifua, Rory Lawson and Suka Hufanga are also amongst the replacements after returning from international duty.

Ally Hogg continues to skipper the side in the absence of Will Welch, who is now in full training after a back injury.

Plymouth make the trip north on the back of a 21-8 defeat at home to Bristol last weekend and remain sixth in the table. Harbouring ambitions of a play-off berth come the end of the regular campaign, director of rugby Nat Saumi will be hoping his troops can give a good account of themselves on Tyneside.

Falcons boss Dean Richards is under no illusions about the task in hand, saying: “Plymouth are a very physical side, and they certainly play with a lot of physicality up front.

“We have to look at what we’re doing and analyse what we do week in and week out rather than focussing too much on what the opposition is doing.”

After returning from Jersey last Sunday where they snapped up a bonus-point triumph, it has been a quick a turnaround for the northeasterners.

Despite this, Richards insists his side are in tip-top shape for the visit of Albion.

He said: “The boys had a bit of a rest on Sunday on our flight back to Newcastle and we were back in training on Monday.

“The boys had a rest on Tuesday before getting back into it ahead of Friday’s game – we have had a good week’s training and we have just been looking at ways we can keep improving as a team.

“Even though the weather in Jersey wasn’t great, we scored some quality tries and we could be quite pleased with the way things went.”

Tickets are still available for Friday’s game by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online.

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Luke Fielden, 13 Alex Crockett, 12 Jamie Helleur, 11 Andrew Higgins, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Warren Fury, 1 Grant Shiells, 2 Matt Thompson, 3 James Hall, 4 Sean Tomes, 5 Scott MacLeod, 6 Chris York, 7 Mark Wilson, 8 Ally Hogg (c)

Replacements: 16 Michael Mayhew, 17 Scott Wilson, 18 James Goode, 19 Taiasina Tu’ifua, 20 Rory Lawson, 21 Joel Hodgson, 22 Suka Hufanga

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