Harris returns Cooper primed for first appearance

Thursday 12 January 2017 Written by: Adam

Chris Harris will make a welcome return to the field on Friday as Newcastle Falcons travel to take on Grenoble in round five of this season’s European Rugby Challenge Cup (KO 19:00 CET / 18.00 GMT)

It will mark the first action for the 26-year-old since September as he returns to full fitness, starting at outside-centre as part of a squad that includes 15 players that are graduates of the club’s academy.

Joining Harris in almost fully home grown back line, Brett Connon assumes fullback duties; Dan Marshall and Zach Kibirige take to the wings while Fred Burdon captains the side from the inside-centre berth.

Craig Willis and Sam Egerton form the starting half-back pairing, whilst the pack strikes a balance between youth and experience.

Fresh from scoring his first premiership try in the dramatic conclusion to last week’s game against Bath, Ben Harris starts at loosehead alongside Ben Sowrey and Davey Wilson, while Will Witty and Mouritz Botha combine in the second row.

After returning to action from injury off the bench against Bath, Sean Robinson makes a first start of the season from the blindside flank, while livewire pair Harrison Orr and Daniel Temm complete the starting XV at openside and number eight respectively.

On the bench, South African hooker Kyle Cooper is set to make his first contribution in a Falcons shirt as he returns to fitness, while Adam Brocklebank and Scott Wilson complete the front row replacements.

**Newcastle Falcons Squad
v FC Grenoble – Friday 13th January 2017**

KO 19:00 CET (18:00 GMT) – Live BBC Radio Newcastle

15 Brett Connon, 14. Dan Marshall, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Fred Burdon (C), 11. Zach Kibirige, 10. Craig Willis, 9. Sam Egerton, 1. Ben Harris, 2. Ben Sowrey, 3. David Wilson, 4. Will Witty, 5. Mouritz Botha, 6. Sean Robinson, 7. Harrison Orr, 8. Daniel Temm

16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Adam Brocklebank, 18. Scott Wilson, 19. Calum Green, 20. Glen Young, 21 Michael Young, 22. Dom Waldouck, 23. Tom Catterick