Newcastle Falcons will make eight changes to their starting line-up for Saturday’s second Kings of the North fixture against Leicester Tigers on Saturday.
With a number of players returning to the fray from injury, and the Falcons also looking to try out new playing combinations ahead of the 2015/16 season, the club will field a much changed side from that which faced Sale Sharks in the opening round of the competition.
Captain Will Welch returns to the club’s starting line up alongside fellow Flanker Daniel Temm and and Richard Mayhew at Number 8, both of whom appeared from the bench two weeks ago.
Elsewhere in the pack England Saxon Scott Wilson and Bobby Vickers will join George McGuigan to provide the Falcons’ starting front row while the second row of Calum Green and Sean Robinson remains unchanged.
Within the backs Tom Penny makes his first start of the summer, returning from injury to play on the wing where he is joined by Dan Marshall, who returns from a stint in Samoa at the Youth Commonwealth Games to make his second start for the club.
The centre pairing of Adam Powell and Chris Harris remains unchanged from the first two matches of 2015/16, while Fly Half Craig Willis and Scrum Half Ruki Tipuna, Man of the Match in the Falcons recent World Cup warm up game against Georgia, provide an unchanged half back combination for the club. Brett Connon completes the Falcons’ back line at Full Back.
The Falcons’ bench sees the return of Scotland internationals Scott Lawson and Scott MacLeod, the former making his first appearance since touching down for the Falcons against the Georgian national side last month.
Ben Harris and Andrew Foster complete the front row replacements while Dave Fairbrother and Falcons Sevens captain Callum Chick offer further support elsewhere in the scrum. Scrum Half Ruaridh Dawson is in line to make his second appearance for the Falcons after coming off the bench in the club’s pre-season fixture against Georgia.
Further support within the backs comes from trialists Ali Blair, Jason Tali and Jim Wigglesworth.
Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers: 15. Brett Connon, 14. Tom Penny, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Adam Powell, 11. Dan Marshall, 10. Craig Willis, 9. Ruki Tipuna; 1. Bobby Vickers, 2. George McGuigan, 3. Scott Wilson, 4. Calum Green, 5. Sean Robinson, 6. Daniel Temm, 7. Will Welch (c), 8. Richard Mayhew.
Replacements: Scott Lawson, Ben Harris, Andrew Foster, Scott MacLeod, Dave Fairbrother, Callum Chick, Ruaridh Dawson, Ali Blair, Jason Tali, Jim Wigglesworth.