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Preview: Newcastle v Exeter

06th January 2012 11:13

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Luke Fielden Newcastle v Exeter lv cup 2011

Back for Falcons: Luke Fielden

Newcastle Falcons have made three changes for Saturday's crucial Aviva Premiership clash with Exeter Chiefs at Kingston Park.

Luke Fielden returns to the wing following a hip injury while Tim Swinson replaces skipper James Hudson, who has a shoulder injury. Jimmy Gopperth captains the side in his absence.

Samoan international Taiasina Tu'ifua starts at blindside flanker with Richard Mayhew getting the nod at number eight.

Tongan flyer Suka Hufanga moves to outside centre while Corne Uys has passed a late fitness test and has a place on the bench.

"Exeter are a very difficult team to breakdown and they will never give in," said Falcons head coach Alan Tait.

"They are a stuffy side and last year they got a stranglehold of us when they came up here. It was always going to be decided by the slightest of margins and that proved to be the case.

"Hopefully we can turn up on Saturday and match them physically but I also want us to play the style of rugby that I know that we are capable of.

"I want us to be looking for the line-breaks and putting players into spaces. Our players know that it is going to be a battle but we still want to create chances and move them around."

Meanwhile, Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter has made two changes to his starting line-up - both of which come in the pack where Hoani Tui comes in for John Andress at tighthead, whilst Tom Johnson returns in the back-row in place of James Phillips.

"It is always a massive ask up there, but equally it is one we achieved last year and one we are capable of winning," said Exeter assistant coach Ali Hepher.

"Without a shadow of a doubt we're expecting them to come out strong. I've played up there many a time in the past and it's a tough place to go. They come at you straight away and it will be no different this week. They may see it as a must-win game for them, but it's a must-win for us in a certain sense because we have just got to keep winning in Premiership."

Form: Newcastle Falcons have slipped to three straight defeats in all competitions, whilst at Kingston Park their six game unbeaten run ended at the hands of Northampton Saints on New Year's Eve. Exeter Chiefs lost both of their Aviva Premiership Rugby holiday fixtures, to London Irish and Harlequins. The Chiefs have won two of their last three away encounters. Exeter won 32-15 when the two sides met at Sandy Park in September, and also won 23-13 on their most recent visit to Kingston Park, on 18 February.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Greg Goosen, 14 Luke Fielden, 13 Suka Hufanga, 12 James Fitzpatrick, 11 Jeremy Manning, 10 Jimmy Gopperth (c), 9 Jordi Pasqualin, 8 Richard Mayhew 7 Will Welch, 6 Taiasina Tu'ifua, 5 Tim Swinson, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Rob Vickers, 1 Grant Shiells.
Replacements: 16 Michael Mayhew, 17 Ashley Wells, 18 James Hall, 19 Mark Wilson, 20 Ally Hogg, 21 Chris Pilgrim, 22 Tom Catterick, 23 Corne Uys

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Nic Sestaret, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Ignacio Mieres, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Tom Hayes (c), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Neil Clark, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Simon Alcott, 17 John Andress, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Chris Bentley, 20 James Phillips, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Josh Tatupu.

Date: Saturday, January 7
Venue: Kingston Park
Kick-off: 15.00 GMT
Referee: Andrew Small

  • Newcastle Falcons Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
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
Friday , February 20
Newcastle vs Wasps20:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , January 31
Newcastle vs Sale15:00
Saturday , February 7
London Irish vs Newcastle15:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Friday , December 5
Newcastle vs Stade Francais20:00
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
  • Newcastle Falcons Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
Saturday , November 15
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
LV= Cup
Friday , November 7
Newcastle 21 - 22 Cardiff Blues
Saturday , November 1
Northampton 37 - 23 Newcastle
More LV= Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Friday , October 24
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Friday , October 17
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , October 11
London Welsh 3 - 23 Newcastle
More Aviva Premiership results
  • Table
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
8Harlequins819
9Gloucester816
10Newcastle Falcons813
11London Irish812
12London Welsh81