Newcastle Falcons have made two changes from the side that narrowly lost to Gloucester Rugby last weekend for this Saturday’s Aviva Premiership clash at Worcester Warriors (kick-off 3pm).
Rob Vickers replaces Franck Montanella at loose-head while Carlo del Fava returns to the second-row alongside Dom Barrow.
Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards sticks with the same backline with winger Ryan Shortland making a welcome return to the bench.
“It’s a massive game, but it’s still very early days,” said skipper Will Welch, who is relishing the challenge that Dean Ryan’s men will pose.
“At the same time if we get a win at Sixways that would certainly boost our confidence. Obviously it’s going to be a tough task and they will give us a hell of a battle, but after training very well this week hopefully we can get the result that we want,” he added.
Head coach Peter Russell is looking for a reaction from his side after only picking up a losing bonus point last Sunday, saying: “Worcester is a tough place to travel to and what more can you say about Sixways – there will undoubtedly be a big atmosphere down there with two teams fighting for the points.
“Hopefully we can keep the crowd relatively quiet by getting points on the board. We just need to build on the pressure that we put on them , making sure that we are controlling the scoreboard.”
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Adam Powell, 12 James Fitzpatrick, 11 Tom Catterick, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Mike Blair, 1 Rob Vickers, 2 Matt Thompson, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 4 Carlo del Fava, 5 Dom Barrow, 6 Mark Wilson, 7 Will Welch (c), 8 Ally Hogg
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Franck Montanella, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Sean Tomes, 20 Chris York, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Phil Godman, 23 Ryan Shortland