Preview: Leeds Carnegie v Newcastle

Date published: February 25 2011

Newcastle Falcons have made three changes for their crucial Aviva Premiership basement clash with Leeds Carnegie on Sunday.

Newcastle Falcons have made three changes for their crucial Aviva Premiership basement clash with Leeds Carnegie on Sunday.

Kiwi Jeremy Manning starts at full-back with Alex Tait moving to the wing replacing South African flyer Gcobani Bobo.

In the front-row Kieran Brookes comes in for Scotland international Euan Murray and local boy James Fitzpatrick gets the nod at inside centre. After impressing for the Development Team during a 23-5 victory over Northampton on Monday, Tom Catterick gets a place amongst the replacements.

“It's all there to play for on Sunday and it's not the end of the world whatever happens with the result as there's still plenty of rugby left. We've just got to go down there and keep doing what we do well,” said head coach Alan Tait.

“Jon Golding and Tim Swinson signing new contracts this week was great news for the club and I hope we can all settle down now and build for the future.”

Meanwhile, Australian international Lachlan MacKay has been named at fly-half for Leeds Carnegie for Sunday's massive clash with the Falcons.

MacKay has missed the last two Aviva Premiership games for the Yorkshiremen but makes his return against their relegation rivals.

Ceiron Thomas comes in for Leigh Hinton at full-back whilst James Craig will partner Marco Wentzel in the second row. Phil Nilsen starts in place of Steve Thompson, with the England hooker away on international duty with Hendre Fourie. Daniel Browne moves from the second row to openside flanker.

On the bench there are welcome returns from injury for Sean Hohneck and Danny Paul.

Form: Leeds have won two of their last three meetings with Newcastle. The Falcons have a remarkable record at Headingley Carnegie, with just one defeat in nine previous visits. Leeds Carnegie have lost their last four matches in all competitions, whilst their solo victory in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season came at home to Gloucester on New Year's Day. Newcastle Falcons have secured just one win in their last seven encounters in all competitions: 17-3 at home to Exeter in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on 6 February. The Falcons' only Premiership victory since round two also came at home to Gloucester in November.

The teams:

Leeds Carnegie: 15 Ceiron Thomas, 14 Lee Blackett, 13 Henry Faafili, 12 Scott Barrow, 11 Michael Stephenson, 10 Lachlan Mackay, 9 Warren Fury, 8 Alfie Tooala, 7 Dan Browne, 6 Kearnan Myall, 5 Marco Wentzel (capt), 4 James Craig, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 Phil Nilsen, 1 Mike MacDonald.
Replacements: 16 Scott Freer, 17 Gareth Hardy, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Sean Hohneck, 20 Danny Paul, 21 Scott Mathie, 22 Adrian Jarvis, 23 Luther Burrell.

Newcastle: 15 Jeremy Manning, 14 Luke Fielden, 13 Luke Eves, 12 James Fitzpatrick, 11 Alex Tait, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Micky Young, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch, 6 Tim Swinson, 5 Andrew Van der Heijden, 4 James Hudson (capt), 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Matt Thompson, 1 Jon Golding.
Replacements: 16 Rob Vickers, 17 Grant Shiells, 18 James Hall, 19 Mark Wilson, 20 Redford Pennycook, 21 Hall Charlton, 22 Tane Tu'ipulotu, 23 Tom Catterick.

Date: Sunday, February 27
Kick-off: 17:30
Venue: Headingley Carnegie
Referee: Dean Richards