Newcastle are boosted by the return of skipper James Hudson for Friday's Aviva Premiership clash with Worcester at Kingston Park.
Newcastle Falcons are boosted by the return of skipper James Hudson for Friday's Aviva Premiership showdown with Worcester Warriors at Kingston Park.
Hudson, 30, has been banned for four weeks after an RFU panel adjudged the giant lock to have tackled a player off the ground during Newcastle's Premiership clash at London Irish last month.
Now the Sutton Coldfield-born lock is raring to go with head coach Alan Tait making four further changes to his side. Top try-scorer Greg Goosen replaces Jeremy Manning at full-back while Alex Tait returns to the wing and Jordi Pasqualin gets the nod at scrum-half.
As well as Hudson's return to the pack Kiwi Richard Mayhew comes back in to the side to bolster a strong forward line which includes Scotland international Euan Murray.
“I am really excited about getting back out there,” said Hudson.
“It has certainly been a long four weeks for me and it has been very frustrating to have to watch the boys from the sideline especially when I've been really fit and well.”
The Falcons aim to make it three successive home victories following wins against London Wasps and Cardiff Blues.
Meanwhile, lock legend Craig Gillies will make his 250th appearance for Worcester Warriors as they make the long journey north.
Second row star Gillies, the all-time appearance holder for the Worcester, will clock up another landmark as he becomes the first Warrior to hit 250 games.
Head coach Richard Hill has made two changes to his starting line-up after the late defeat to London Wasps.
Fly-half Joe Carlisle is handed the number ten jersey after impressing during the second half against the Londoners, while hooker Aleki Lutui also starts his first game since returning from the Rugby World Cup with Tonga.
Ed Shervington is recalled to the bench, after missing the last league game through illness.
“This is a big game and we know what to expect, Newcastle will be firing and we have got to match that,” said Hill.
Newcastle: 15 Greg Goosen, 14 Alex Tait, 13 Corne Uys, 12 Jamie Helleur, 11 Rikki Sheriffe, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Jordi Pasqualin, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch, 6 Richard Mayhew, 5 Andrew van der Heijden, 4 James Hudson (c), 3 Euan Murray, 2 Joe Graham, 1 Grant Shiells.
Replacements: 16 Michael Mayhew, 17 Ashley Wells, 18 James Hall, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Redford Pennycook, 21 Chris Pilgrim, 22 Jeremy Manning, 23 Luke Eves.
Worcester: 15 Errie Claassens, 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Dale Rasmussen (c), 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Joe Carlisle, 9 Shaun Perry8 Chris Jones, 7 Jake Abbott, 6 Neil Best, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 James Percival, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Matt Mullan
Replacements: 16 George Porter, 17 Ed Shervington, 18 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 19 Adam Balding, 20 Sam Betty, 21 Ollie Frost, 22 Andy Goode, 23 Chris Pennell.
Date: Friday, November 4
Venue: Kingston Park
Kick-off: 19.45 GMT
Referee: Wayne Barnes