Newcastle Falcons have made five changes to the side that defeated Nottingham 29-9 a fortnight ago for this Saturday’s RFU Championship trip to Jersey (kick-off 3pm).
Alex Crockett comes in for the rested Tane Tu’ipulotu at outside centre, while Warren Fury replaces Rory Lawson at scrum-half after the latter was named on the bench for Scotland to face Tonga this weekend.
Grant Shiells and Matt Thompson start in the front-row alongside Oliver Tomaszczyk, with Chris York getting the nod in the back-row.
Victory over the Channel Islanders will make it ten league wins out of ten this campaign, and comes hot on the heels of last week’s impressive triumph over Tonga at Kingston Park.
Falcons boss Dean Richards is pleased with his side’s recent form, which has seen back-to-back wins against title challengers Nottingham and Tonga who are ranked twelfth in the world.
“I’m pleased with both of those performances, particularly the Tonga match which was a complete performance by us,” said Richards.
He added: “The game against Tonga opened up a little bit quicker than what we thought, and we took our chances.
“They scored a couple of really nice tries, but we held them at bay which a lot of people didn’t expect us to do – we believed in ourselves.”
The squad jet out to Jersey today on a charter flight along with an army of Falcons supporters, as the feel good factor for top-class rugby continues to blossom in the North East.
Richards said: “It’s a nice trip if you’re a supporter and there are certainly plenty of things for them to do on the Friday and Saturday night.
“The players’ focus on Friday night will be what they are going to do on the field on Saturday afternoon.
“We will of course have a couple of beers on Saturday night after the game, but we have a quick turnaround and we need to turn our attentions to Plymouth on the Friday.”
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Luke Fielden, 13 Alex Crockett, 12 Jamie Helleur, 11 Ryan Shortland, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Warren Fury, 1 Grant Shiells, 2 Matt Thompson, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 4 Sean Tomes, 5 Scott MacLeod, 6 Chris York, 7 Mark Wilson, 8 Ally Hogg
Replacements: 16 Mike Mayhew, 17 James Hall, 18 James Goode, 19 Richard Mayhew, 20 Jordi Pasqualin, 21 Joel Hodgson, 22 Andy Higgins