Preview: Newcastle v Exeter

Date published: October 3 2014

Newcastle Falcons have made two changes to their starting XV against Wasps as they prepare to take on Exeter Chiefs at Kingston Park.

Newcastle Falcons have made two changes to their starting XV against Wasps as they prepare to take on Exeter Chiefs at Kingston Park this Sunday.

Last year’s Players’ Player of the Season, Alex Tait, will start at full-back playing alongside Samoan international Sinoti Sinoti and Noah Cato, whose last game for the Falcons saw him pick up a try against former team Northampton Saints.

Completing the back line are Gonzalo Tiesi and Adam Powell in the centre, Juan Pablo Socino at 10 and last weekend’s scorer Ruki Tipuna at scrum-half.

The pack remains unchanged from that which travelled to Adams Park last Sunday with Kieran Brookes, Scott Lawson and Scott Wilson comprising the front row and former Leeds pair Calum Green and Dom Barrow making their third starting appearance together in the Falcons’ second row. Mark Wilson, Ally Hogg and captain Will Welch complete the pack.

The Falcons include a further two changes among their replacements for Sunday’s game with Mike Blair and Tom Catterick moving onto the bench in place of Warren Fury and Alex Tuilagi.

Meanwhile, Jack Nowell’s absence is one of several changes Baxter has made to his winning formula from that which saw off Harlequins a week ago.

Welsh international Tom James replaces Nowell on the wing, whilst other changes see Ian Whitten come into the centre in place of Sam Hill and Don Armand gets his first start of the season in the second row ahead of of Mitch Lees.

On the bench, Hill is joined by Namibian international Chrysander Botha and Haydn Thomas, whilst Irish lock Ryan Caldwell is also back in the mix having missed out last week due to a rib injury.

Form: Newcastle Falcons have been defeated in their last twenty Aviva Premiership Rugby matches – the third worst losing sequence in the history of the tournament – since beating London Irish at Kingston Park on 27th October 2013. Exeter Chiefs solitary defeat in their last five Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures was 20-22 at home to Leicester Tigers in round 2. The Chiefs have won their last four away games since their 15-45 loss at Leicester in March. Exeter have won all six previous Premiership Rugby clashes with Newcastle, whilst the Falcons have defeated Exeter twice before at Kingston Park in other competitions: in the Tetley’s Bitter Cup in January 1998 and the Anglo-Welsh Cup in February 2011.

The teams:

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Sinoti Sinoti, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Noah Cato, 10 Juan Pablo Socino, 9 Ruki Tipuna, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch (c), 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Dom Barrow, 4 Calum Green, 3 Scott Wilson, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Kieran Brookes
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Alex Rogers, 18 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 19 Josh Furno, 20 Richard Mayhew, 21 Mike Blair, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Tom Catterick

Exeter: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Tom James, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Ben White, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Don Armand, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Jack Yeandle (c), 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Moray Low, 19 Ryan Caldwell, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Sam Hill, 23 Chrysander Botha

Date: Sunday, October 5
Venue: Kingston Park
Kickoff: 15:00 local (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank, Paul Dix
TMO: David Grashoff