Team news: Collett in to face Chiefs

Friday 18 February 2022

Newcastle Falcons have named their team for Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership visit of Exeter Chiefs to Kingston Park Stadium (kick-off 3pm).

Connor Collett starts on the open-side flank for a Falcons side who are looking to complete a home-and-away double over the Chiefs, following their victory at Sandy Park back in November.

England cap Trevor Davison comes in at tight-head prop, while scrum-half Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti starts after scoring in his side’s last game at Bristol. George Wacokecoke starts at outside centre as Matias Orlando pushes one place infield, with Tom Penny coming onto the wing.

A powerful bench includes England pair Jamie Blamire and Adam Radwan, with director of rugby Dean Richards relishing the prospect of taking on the Chiefs.

He said: “Some people might say Exeter haven’t quite been up there in terms of their usual level this season, but I don’t look at it that way.

“From our side we just prepare for the game in exactly the same manner, and I’ve never been of the opinion that any team is too good for us.”

Once again showing a strong core of homegrown talent in his selection, Richards added: “We should be competitive against everyone.

“Sometimes things conspire against you in your preparation or your delivery isn’t quite there on the day, but on the whole we’ve been competitive.

“We will continue to do that going forward, and a large part of that is our homegrown talent coming through, having that feeling that Kingston Park is our home and that we fight right down to the very last.

“We’ve averaged around 14 homegrown players in our match-day 23 this season, and I don’t think there’s any other side in the Premiership that will have been able to do that.”

Click here to book tickets for Sunday’s game, which is being shown live in the UK on BT Sport 1.

Newcastle Falcons team v Exeter Chiefs (Sunday, 3pm, Kingston Park Stadium)

15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Penny, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Matias Orlando, 11 Nathan Earle, 10 Will Haydon-Wood, 9 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti; 1 Adam Brocklebank, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Trevor Davison, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sean Robinson, 6 Will Welch (captain), 7 Connor Collett, 8 Callum Chick.

Replacements: 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Conrad Cade, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Rob Farrar, 20 Josh Basham, 21 Joel Hodgson, 22 Luther Burrell, 23 Adam Radwan.

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Josh Hodge, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Tom Hendrickson, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Joe Simmonds (captain), 9 Sam Maunder; 1 Alec Hepburn, 2 Jack Innard, 3 Patrick Schickerling, 4 Jannes Kirsten, 5 Dafydd Jenkins, 6 Sam Skinner, 7 Don Armand, 8 Richard Capstick.

Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Billy Keast, 18 Marcus Street, 19 Lewis Pearson, 20 Santiago Grondona, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Harvey Skinner, 23 Facundo Cordero.

Referee: Christophe Ridley.

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