Newcastle Falcons ‘A’ are in action against National League One outfit Blaydon today at Crowtrees as they step up their preparations for the 2013-14 Aviva A League (kick-off 2pm).
A number of senior players have been included in the 23-man squad with James Fitzpatrick, Chris Pilgrim, Alex Crockett, Sean Tomes and Chris York, who skippers the side, starting the game. Fans favourite Tane Tu’ipulotu is back from injury and has a place on the bench, while Michael Tait is also amongst the replacements.
Fitzpatrick partners Crockett at the heart of the Falcons’ backline with Chris Pilgrim and Craig Willis forming the half-back combination. Sean Brown and Tom Penny inject the pace on either wing, and Simon Hammersley dons the No.15 jersey.
In the front-row Gary Strain starts at loosehead alongside hooker George McGuigan and tighthead Trevor Davison. Josh Hedley and Sean Tomes provide the energy in the engine room, while Nick Cairns, Ollie Hodgson and Chris York have been named in the back-row.
Academy manager Mark Laycock said: “We want to get the basics right so we can take it into the Sale game next week.
“We did some good things against Leeds, but we let our guard down twice after scoring to let them back into the game.”
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Sean Brown, 13 Alex Crockett, 12 James Fitzpatrick, 11 Tom Penny, 10 Craig Willis, 9 Chris Pilgrim, 1 Gary Strain, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Trevor Davison, 4 Josh Hedley, 5 Sean Tomes, 6 Nick Cairns, 7 Ollie Hodgson, 8 Chris York (c)
Replacements: 16 David Nelson, 17 Sam White, 18 Aston Whitlow, 19 Matt Perks, 20 Will Witty, 21 Josh Bragman, 22 Tane Tu’ipulotu, 23 Michael Tait