Dean Richards has handed debuts to four academy products for this Sunday’s LV= Cup tussle with Saracens at Allianz Park (kick-off 3pm).
Glen Young, Ben Morris, Dan Temm and Simon Hammersley have all been given their chance to impress in the capital under the gaze of the Newcastle Falcons coaching hierarchy.
Jedburgh-born second-row Young, 19, who penned a two year professional contract last term, starts in the second-row, while Lancastrian Ben Morris and Kiwi Dan Temm, both 22, get the nod in the back-row.
Temm joined the Falcons last November and has since played a string of games for the second string in the A League as well as enjoying outings with National One neighbours Tynedale.
Promising full-back Simon Hammersley pulls on the No.15 jersey, and the Durham University student will be keen to improve on his impressive showing during last summer’s J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7’s.
Meanwhile, George McGuigan retains his place at hooker following last week’s man-of-the-match display at home to Bucharest Wolves in the Amlin Challenge Cup. The Ireland Under-20s frontman packs down alongside loosehead Franck Montanella and tighthead Oliver Tomaszczyk.
Sean Tomes partners Young in the engine room with skipper Chris York rounding off the changes upfront.
Zach Kibirige returns to the wing following his England Under-20s duties and is one of three changes in the backline. Danny Barnes partners Alex Crockett in the centres with the former Munster man refreshed after turning out for Tynedale during the European break, while the aforementioned Hammersley concludes the changes.
“We’ve got some quality players coming through the system now which is fantastic with the likes of Scott Wilson, George McGuigan and Zach Kibirige, who have all had first team experience at this level in the last few months,” said director of rugby Richards.
“It’s no coincidence that they have come through while academy manager Mark Laycock and academy coach James Ponton have been at the club,” he added.
Saracens are sure to be a tough proposition for the northeasterners when the two sides collide in north London this weekend, with the Falcons chief saying: “Saracens are a quality side with strength in depth, and yes a few of our lads have been thrown in at the deep end, but they will front up and do well.
“It will be a fast track on the 3G pitch and there will be a lot of points scored and I think it will suit guys like Tom Catterick, Simon Hammersley and Zach on the wing – I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Tom Catterick, 13 Danny Barnes, 12 Alex Crockett, 11 Zach Kibirige, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Chris Pilgrim, 1 Franck Montanella, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 4 Sean Tomes, 5 Glen Young, 6 Ben Morris, 7 Dan Temm, 8 Chris York (c)
Replacements: 16 David Nelson, 17 Gary Strain, 18 Grant Shiells, 19 Will Witty, 20 Ollie Hodgson, 21 Andy Davies, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Tom Penny