Preview: Newcastle v Sale

Date published: November 28 2014

Newcastle boss Dean Richards has made only one change to his starting XV for Sunday’s clash against Sale Sharks at Kingston Park.

Newcastle boss Dean Richards has made only one change to his starting XV for Sunday’s clash against Sale Sharks at Kingston Park.

The change comes at hooker where George McGuigan comes in for Scott Lawson, while the rest of the starting team who earned last week’s 20 – 10 victory over Gloucester have a chance to continue the clubs excellent league form, which has seen them win three out of the last four games.

The settled selection sees Alex Tait at full-back, Samoan duo Sinoti Sinoti and Alesana Tuilagi line up on the wings and Argentine pairing Gonzalo Tiesi and Juan Pablo Socino fill the centre berths.

Mike Blair and Rory Clegg will once again control the link between forwards and backs at Scrum Half and Fly Half respectively while the front row is completed by Rob Vickers and Oliver Tomaszczyk pack down alongside the incoming McGuigan.

The reliable partnership between Calum Green and Dominic Barrow continues in the second row with the forwards rounding out with Mark Wilson and Andy Saull on the flanks and Ally Hogg captaining the side from number 8.

The bench see Alex Rogers, Eric Fry and Scott Wilson provide front row cover, with returning international pair Josh Furno and Kane Thompson also primed to enter the fray. Warren Fury offers cover for the scrum half jersey while Adam Powell and Simon Hammersley provide the back line replacement options.

Speaking ahead of the final team run, Richards said: “It is good that we can select virtually the same side as last week and look to build on the positive mood that result and the support of the crowd brought.”

“There were a lot of people stood up last week and made sure of the result against Gloucester and I am expecting the same this week against Sale.”

“The Sharks will travel to Kingston Park on Sunday on a high themselves after beating Quins away last week and that result gives us a very timely reminder that they are not a side that can be taken lightly.”

Meanwhile, Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond has made six changes to his matchday squad that beat Harlequins last weekend.

Michael Paterson (knee) and David Seymour (shoulder) both miss out through injury but on the plus side Mark Cueto returns to the starting line-up for the first time since the opening game of the season, although he did play as a substitute in the home win over Wasps.

Chris Cusiter, Luke McLean, Johnny Leota and Alberto de Marchi also return to the side following international duties.

Form: Newcastle Falcons have won three of their last four Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, the loss being at Bath in Round Seven. The Falcons have won back-to-back Premiership Rugby encounters at Kingston Park, but have not won three in succession at the venue in the tournament since March 2009. Sale Sharks have also won three of their last four Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, the defeat being at Northampton in Round Six. The Sharks won their most recent away game in the tournament, at Harlequins, and are attempting to win consecutive fixtures on the road for the first time since April. Sale’s 16-8 victory in this equivalent fixture last season ended a three games losing streak to the Falcons in all tournaments. Sale are attempting to win back-to-back matches at Kingston Park for the first time in their history.

The teams:

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Sinoti Sinoti, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Dom Barrow, 4 Calum Green, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Rob Vickers.
Replacements: 16 Alex Rogers, 17 Eric Fry, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Kane Thompson, 20 Josh Furno, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Adam Powell, 23 Simon Hammersley.

Sale: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Luke McLean, 13 Jonny Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Josh Beaumont, 7 Magnus Lund, 6 Dan Braid (c), 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Jonathan Mills, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Eifion Lewis Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Shalva Mamukashvili, 17 Alberto de Marchi, 18 Ross Harrison, 19 Mark Easter, 20 Viliami Fihaki, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Nick Macleod, 23 Mark Jennings.

Date: Sunday, November 30
Kick-off: 15:15 GMT
Venue: Kingston Park
Referee: Dean Richards
Assistant referees: Jonathan Healy, Ross Campbell
Television match official: Keith Lewis.