Falcons squads announced for Saturday friendlies
Newcastle Falcons have announced the playing squads for the pre season fixtures against Rotherham Titans at Kingston Park and Doncaster Knights at Castle Park on Saturday.
With two games taking place on the same day, both squads boast a healthy combination of experience and youth as the preparations for the new Aviva Premiership season continue to gather pace.
At Kingston Park, 48 times capped Ally Hogg captains a team which includes summer signings Eric Fry, Josh Furno and Ruki Tipuna.
Juan Pablo Socino will begin his Falcons career against his former club starting at Inside Centre with Rory Clegg conducting play from Fly Half.
The Kingston Park side will also see Kieran Brookes line up at home for the first time since representing England against New Zealand in the summer, while Simon Hammersley will look to continue what has been an impressive pre season to date from fullback.
In South Yorkshire, Richard Mayhew leads a side including former British & Irish Lion Mike Blair and 7s series stand outs Dan Temm and Sean Brown.
Falcons 7s series captain Tom Catterick will start at Fly Half in the Castle Park encounter while emerging talents including David Nelson, Adam Redman and Dan Marshall will all have the opportunity to impress the Falcons coaching team.
After the announcement of the two teams, Newcastle Falcons Director of Rugby Dean Richards said:
“Both sides are pretty strong considering that people like George McGuigan, Scott Wilson, Dom Barrow, Richard Mayhew, Mike Blair, Jamie Helleur and Lee Smith are all playing down at Doncaster. All of the guys that weren’t involved over in Bayonne will get a start up here so we’ve got two very strong sides out that have a good bit of strength and depth.
That we are able to field two teams of this calibre at the same time means that there’s a huge competition for places and we’re looking forward to seeing the boys play.”
With only a fortnight to go until the Aviva Premiership season begins away from home to Leicester Tigers, Saturday’s encounters provide a valuable opportunity for the coaching team to assess how preparations are progressing.
Richards added: “More than anything we’re looking to see people put into place what we’ve been working on in training. This is our second game into pre-season and we want to dot the i’s and cross the t’s against a side which coincidentally pushed Saints close and were leading late in the game.
It is not going to be an easy game against Rotherham and they have a number of their boys who are from up here, registered to us but on loan to them who know are game inside out so it’s going to be a great test for us.”
Tickets for the game at Kingston Park are still available and are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for Under 16s. They can be bought by calling 0871 2266060 or by clicking [here]
**Team Line Up – Newcastle Falcons v Rotherham Titans**
Kingston Park Stadium – 3pm Kick Off
1.Eric Fry 2. Scott Lawson 3. Kieran Brookes 4. Callum Green 5. Josh Furno 6. Ulli Kolo’ofai 7. Andy Saull 8. Ally Hogg © 9. Ruki Tipuna 10. Rory Clegg 11. Noah Cato 12. Juan Pablo Socino 13. Danny Barnes 14. Sinoti Sinoti 15. Simon Hammersley – Replacements Rob Vickers, Rob Hawkins, Oliver Tomasczyzk, Scott MacLeod, Mark Wilson, Will Welch, Warren Fury, Phil Godman, Craig Willis
**Team Line Up – Doncaster Knights v Newcastle Falcons**
Castle Park Stadium – 2:30pm Kick Off
1. Alex Rogers 2. George McGuigan 3. Scott Wilson 4. Glen Young 5. Dom Barrow 6. Brian Tuilagi 7.Dan Temm 8. Richard Mayhew © 9. Mike Blair 10. Tom Catterick 11. Sean Brown 12. Jamie Helleur 13. Adam Redman 14. Tom Small 15. Lee Smith – Replacements Jake Elwood, David Nelson, Mark Irving, Will Witty, George Hedgley, Dan Grange Dan Marshall, Dan Taylor, Callum Burn