New Zealand fly half returns to the starting XV along with Sinoti Sinoti as Falcons take on Chiefs
Newcastle Falcons will welcome back Sinoti Sinoti and Mike Delany to their starting XV for this weekend’s match against Exeter Chiefs as week seven of a consecutive ten week block of Aviva Premiership Rugby sees a number of changes across the team.
Having enjoyed a 23 minute spell against Gloucester in round 14, Sinoti makes his first Falcons start of the season since the opening game against the same opposition back in October while Delany’s start is his first involvement since the away game against Sale in November.
The Kiwi fly half was forced from the field with a knee injury 18 minutes into that fixture, but is now fully recovered and ready to build on an impressive start to his Falcons career, that saw him score 37 points in five games.
Away from the returnee’s, tight head prop Mike Cusack makes his first start for the club, since joining from Glasgow Warriors on loan and will pack down alongside Alex Rogers and George McGuigan.
Behind the front row, former England international Mourtiz Botha and Calum Green form up in the second, while Mark Wilson drops back onto the blindside flank.
He joins Will Welch and Nili Latu in the back row, with the club captain returning to the openside and the former Tonga captain switching to number eight.
Joining Sinoti in a refreshed back line, Giamba Venditti takes to the right wing as Alex Tait moves to full back and Juan Pablo Socino takes over the inside centre position.
Chris Harris retains the number 13 shirt outside the Argentine international, while Sonatane Takulua starts at scrum half.
On the replacements bench, the Falcons have opted for experienced heads as the look to challenge the Chiefs, with Scott Lawson, Kensuke Hatakeyama, Ally Hogg and Andy Goode all bringing considerable knowledge from club and international level.
They are joined by further experience in the shape of Richard Mayhew and Michael Young while Ben Harris and Tom Penny earn chances for further Aviva Premiership action in the case of the young back and a first league appearance in the case of the Huddersfield born prop.
Newcastle Falcons v Exeter Chiefs - 12/3/2015 - KO 15:00
15 Alex Tait, 14 Giamba Venditti, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 1 Alex Rogers, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Mike Cusack, 4 Mouritz Botha, 5 Callum Green, 6 Mark Wilson, 7 Will Welch, 8 Nili Latu
Replacements 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 19 Richard Mayhew, 20 Ally Hogg, 21 Michael Young, 22 Andy Goode, 23 Tom Penny