Big Match Preview: Moseley V Falcons

Friday 5 October 2012

Newcastle Falcons have made six changes to the side that defeated Leeds Carnegie 53-10 last week for this Saturday’s RFU Championship trip to Moseley (kick-off 3pm).

Skipper Will Welch returns to openside flanker after missing the last two games with a head injury, while Scott MacLeod gets the nod in the engine room with James Hudson dropping to the bench.

Grant Shiells starts at loose-head prop alongside hooker Matt Thompson, who also has the chance to impress Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards.

Alex Tait comes in for the injured Luke Fielden on the wing, while Jamie Helleur starts for the first time this campaign at inside centre after a series of A League outings.

Victory over the West Midlands outfit will make it six wins from six for Richards, but the experienced boss insists his side must take nothing for granted at Billesley Common.

“They have had a couple of good results recently with their win at Bristol last weekend and Jersey before that so we know that we are in for a stern test,” said Richards who looks to continue the Falcons’ 100 per cent record ahead of the 20-day break from Championship rugby as the British and Irish Cup takes centre stage.

He added: “They went 14 points down against Bristol and then clawed their way back into the game in the closing minutes and deservedly so.

“They were once one of the top sides in the country, and it is a club steeped in history and on their day they can be a very difficult side to play against.

“In terms of the squad selection, we have decided to rest Alex Crockett, Rob Vickers, Jonny Golding and James Hudson.

“James Fitzpatrick tweaked his hamstring on Monday night and Suka Hufanga has been struggling this week so we have discounted those.”

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Jimmy Gopperth, 14 Alex Tait, 13 Tane Tu’ipulotu, 12 Jamie Helleur, 11 Tom Catterick, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Rory Lawson, 1 Grant Shiells, 2 Matt Thompson, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 4 Carlo del Fava, 5 Scott MacLeod, 6 Richard Mayhew, 7 Will Welch (c), 8 Ally Hogg

Replacements: 16 Rob Vickers, 17 James Hall, 18 James Hudson, 19 Mark Wilson, 20 Jordi Pasqualin, 21 Waisea Luveniyali, 22 Michael Tait

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