Toby Flood (right) and Maxime Mermoz (left) both start against Rotherham Titans

Team news: Toby Flood starts against Rotherham

Friday 18 August 2017

Toby Flood makes the first start of his second spell at Newcastle Falcons on Saturday, when they host Rotherham Titans at Kingston Park Stadium (kick-off 4.30pm).

The 60-times-capped England fly-half played the second half of last weekend’s 49-19 home win over Nottingham, kicking five from five on a day which also saw the Falcons defeating Doncaster Knights 31-8.

He forms part of a half-back partnership with Sonatane Takulua, the scrum-half who is playing his first pre-season game after helping Tonga secure their place at Rugby World Cup 2019 over the summer.

Full-back Simon Hammersley makes his first start since November 4 when he suffered an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury at Wasps, while former European Champions Cup-winning centre Maxime Mermoz makes his second appearance for the club following his move from Leicester Tigers.

Senior academy players Adam Radwan and Ben Stevenson, both of whom shone at the Singha 7s and scored in last week’s friendlies, form part of the back line – Ben Sowrey making his first start of the season at hooker.

Jon Welsh makes a first outing of the campaign on the tight-head side, Ryan Burrows packing down at No 8 in a team captained by open-side flanker Will Welch.

Season ticket members are entitled to free entry to Saturday’s match but must inform the club in advance so they can be allocated a seat. This applies to all season ticket holders in all areas of the stadium, with only the West and East Stands open on the day. To receive your allocated seat please email fans@newcastle-falcons.co.uk or call 0871 226 6060.

Non-season ticket members can gain entry for just £10 adults and £5 juniors by clicking here,, calling 0871 226 6060 or buying from the ticket office in person.

Saturday’s 4.30pm kick-off will be preceded by Blaydon RFC v Glasgow Hawks, which is a 2pm kick-off.

Newcastle Falcons team to play Rotherham Titans (Saturday, 4.30pm, Kingston Park Stadium)

15 Simon Hammersley

14 Belisario Agulla

13 Ben Stevenson

12 Maxime Mermoz

11 Adam Radwan

10 Toby Flood

9 Sonatane Takulua

1 Trevor Davison

2 Ben Sowrey

3 Jon Welsh

4 Will Witty

5 Glen Young

6 Harrison Orr

7 Will Welch (captain)

8 Ryan Burrows

Replacements

Scott Lawson

Adam Brocklebank

Diogo Ferreira

Calum Green

Nick Civetta

Max Davies

Simon Uzokwe

Ruaridh Dawson

James Elliott

Craig Willis

Josh Matavesi

Charlie Wilson

Cameron Cowell

Referee: John Meredith

Assistant referees: Matt Daubney, Ben Blain

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