Cross Keys V Falcons Team News

Thursday 31 January 2013

Jimmy Gopperth is set to make his one hundredth appearance for Newcastle Falcons at Cross Keys in the British and Irish Cup this Friday (kick-off 7pm).

The two-time Aviva Premiership Golden Boot winner will lead his charges out for the match knowing that victory over the Welsh outfit will secure a home quarter-final.

Falcons boss Dean Richards has rang the changes with six new faces coming into the starting XV including a debut for No.8 Ollie Stedman, who recently made the switch from National League One club Tynedale.

Andrew Higgins, Alex Crockett, Jamie Helleur and Ryan Shortland all come into a re-jigged backline with Jimmy Gopperth and Warren Fury combining at half-back.

Experienced lock James Hudson gets the nod in the pack as the Falcons aim to round off the British and Irish Cup pool stages with a flourish.

Director of rugby Richards said: “In some ways it’s nice to get a two week break as it gives you a chance to work on a few things that you might not usually be able to work on.

“We also have a few injuries and the break has given them the opportunity to get back.

“A home quarter-final would be nice and we’ve picked a team to go down there and win – we also want some continuity in the side.”

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Tom Catterick, 14 Andy Higgins, 13 Alex Crockett, 12 Jamie Helleur, 11 Ryan Shortland, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Warren Fury, 1 Jonny Golding, 2 Rob Vickers, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 4 James Hudson, 5 Scott MacLeod, 6 Mark Wilson, 7 Will Welch (c), 8 Ollie Stedman

Replacements: 16 Matt Thompson, 17 James Hall, 18 Richard Mayhew, 19 Chris York, 20 Rory Lawson, 21 Joel Hodgson, 22 James Fitzpatrick

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