Newcastle Falcons welcome back lock forward, James Hudson for Sunday's Aviva Premiership Rugby clash with Gloucester at Kingston Park.The 28-year-old returns as captain following two months on the sideline with a hamstring injury he picked up during the Falcons 22-17 defeat to Exeter in September.
Hudson, who was awarded the club captaincy in the summer, suffered multiple tears in his hamstring and his return is a welcome boost for head coach, Alan Tait.
Tait has made seven other changes to the side that tasted defeat against Harlequins in the LV= Cup last week.
Jimmy Gopperth slots in to his fly half berth, replacing fellow Kiwi, Jeremy Manning who drops to full back.
Luke Eves and Luke Fielden return to the backline with Grant Shiells, Rob Vickers and Tim Ryan all starting in the front row. Brent Wilson and Ally Hogg also make starts. There is also a place on the bench for Tarne Tu’ipulotu.
Tait said: “It’s good to see James Hudson and Tarne Tu’ipulotu coming back in to the squad. It’s been good to see them back on the training field and hearing their voices again.
“They’re always upbeat on the training pitch and they could have a major impact on how we change things around.”
The northeasterners lock horns with Gloucester, hoping to build on their strong home performances against Saracens and London Wasps. Bryan Redpath’s Gloucester outfit have cemented their position in the top four after a string of impressive performances including the dramatic victory at home to champions, Leicester Tigers. After a stuttering start to their campaign, the Cherry and Whites have recaptured their form to underline their credentials as title challengers.
“They’re a massive rugby club and they’re backing it up at the moment with good performances,” said Tait.
“They put Saracens to the sword last week and although it was an LV= Cup game, Saracens still had their full team out from what I could see. They’re travelling a lot better now and they’ve simplified their game on the road and it’s paying off for them. We know what to expect from Gloucester so we’ve got to counteract that,” he added.
Tickets for the game are still available by calling 0871 226 60 60 or on the day.
The club would also like to remind you that the new replica shirt will be on sale in time for Sunday’s match against Gloucester. The shirts will go on sale on Sunday and are priced from £34.99.
We would also be grateful if you could take the time to complete the Aviva Premiership survey http://www.sportswise.info/surveys/premiershiprugby/fansurvey.htm
Deuchars IPA will be on sale courtesy of executive match sponsor, Caledonian Brewery.
1 Grant Shiells
2 Rob Vickers
3 Tim Ryan
4 James Hudson (c)
5 Tim Swinson
6 Brent Wilson
7 Redford Pennycook
8 Ally Hogg
9 Micky Young
10 Jimmy Gopperth
11 Charlie Amesbury
12 Luke Eves
13 Gcobani Bobo
14 Luke Fielden
15 Jeremy Manning
16 Joe Graham
17 Micky Ward
18 Kieran Brookes
19 Glen Townson
20 Will Welch
21 Hall Charlton
22 Tane Tu'ipulotu
23 Tom Catterick