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Preview: Newcastle v Worcester

28th March 2014 11:43

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SKY_MOBILE Gonzalo Tiesi Newcastle March 2014

Leading Newcastle: Gonzalo Tiesi

Gonzalo Tiesi captain's Newcastle Falcons in this Sunday's crucial Aviva Premiership clash with Worcester Warriors at Kingston Park.

Argentina international centre Tiesi, who penned a new deal on Tyneside earlier this week, leads out the Falcons in the absence of the injured Will Welch.

Mark Wilson makes a welcome return to the back-row, replacing Welch, while there are two changes in the backline with scrum-half Warren Fury and winger Sinoti Sinoti handed starts.

After impressing in Newcastle's late fight-back at Gloucester Rugby last weekend, Welshman Fury gets the nod ahead of Mike Blair who drops to the bench.

Samoan flyer Sinoti returns from an ankle injury and comes in for Zach Kibirige whose season has been cut short by a broken leg sustained at Kingsholm last week.

"If you look at the last five to six weeks with the ground firming up, we have played some outstanding rugby," said director of rugby Dean Richards.

Meanwhile, Rob O'Donnell is the only change to the Warriors starting line-up.

The tighthead steps in for Euan Murray, who misses the game due to religious reasons. Loan signing Jerome Schuster is named among the replacements. Schuster could make his Warriors debut after joining the club from Leicester Tigers last month.

"The pressure is on us because we are going into a game where we can't afford to lose because if we do that's pretty much it," said Director of Rugby Dean Ryan.

"The team has progressed massively. We can see tangible differences from what we were seeing several months ago. They are giving their all."

"There is a real clear buy-in to the team ethos that we are trying to build."

"Schuster has been great around the squad. We lost John Andress and we always knew Euan Murray would be called-up for international action and that he wouldn't be available on Sundays."

"The 23 that you see are pretty much going to be in the 23 every week. We just have to get them fresh enough and in the right space to give each game a go."

Form: Newcastle Falcons have lost their last eleven Aviva Premiership Rugby matches but at least gained two league points in their most recent defeat at Gloucester, and gaining a first try bonus point in the tournament since they visited Sale in March 2009. Newcastle's only victory at Kingston Park in the Premiership this season came against London Irish in Round Six. Worcester Warriors have lost 22 successive Premiership matches since beating Wasps at Sixways on 1 March 2013 - their only victory in the tournament since December 2012. The Warriors have triumphed just once away from home in the Premiership since season 2008/09 - 6-0 at Wasps on New Year's Day 2012. Newcastle gained their first victory over Worcester since 2009 when they met at Sixways in Round Five, and are going for a first ever season's double over the Warriors. Worcester's only previous victory at Kingston Park came on their first ever visit in April 2005, although they have drawn two of their last three fixtures at the venue, both with a 16-all scoreline.

The teams:

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi (c), 12 Danny Barnes, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Warren Fury, 8 Chris York 7 Andy Saull, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Fraser McKenzie, 4 Scott MacLeod, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Rob Vickers.
Replacements:16 George McGuigan, 17 Gary Strain, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Sean Tomes, 20 Richard Mayhew, 21 Mike Blair, 22 Joel Hodgson, 23 James Fitzpatrick

Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Josh Drauniniu, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Ravai Fatiaki, 11 David Lemi, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Jonathan Thomas (c), 7 Sam Betty, 6 Mike Williams, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 James Percival, 3 Rob O'Donnell, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Ofa Fainga'anuku.
Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington, 17 Paul Andrew, 18 Jerome Schuster, 19 Semisi Taulava, 20 Richard de Carpentier, 21 Paul Hodgson, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Andy Symon.

Date: Sunday, March 30
Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Venue: Kingston Park
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Assistant referees: Peter Huckle, Andrew Pearce
Television match official: Rowan Kitt

  • Newcastle Falcons Fixtures
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Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Newcastle Falcons vs GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Preview
Sunday , November 30
Newcastle vs Sale15:15
Saturday , December 20
Harlequins vs Newcastle15:00
Saturday , December 27
Newcastle vs Saracens15:00
Saturday , January 3
Northampton vs Newcastle15:00
Sunday , January 11
Newcastle vs London Welsh15:00
Saturday , February 14
Exeter vs Newcastle15:00
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LV= Cup
Saturday , January 31
Newcastle vs Sale15:00
Saturday , February 7
London Irish vs Newcastle15:00
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European Rugby Challenge Cup
Friday , December 5
Newcastle vs Stade Francais20:00
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  • Newcastle Falcons Results
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
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LV= Cup
Friday , November 7
Newcastle 21 - 22 Cardiff Blues
Saturday , November 1
Northampton 37 - 23 Newcastle
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European Rugby Challenge Cup
Friday , October 24
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Friday , October 17
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , October 11
London Welsh 3 - 23 Newcastle
Sunday , October 5
Newcastle 29 - 24 Exeter
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  • Table
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
8Gloucester716
9Leicester Tigers716
10London Irish712
11Newcastle Falcons79
12London Welsh71