Falcons opt for mainly settled selection for Aviva Premiership's "Northern derby"
Newcastle Falcons have made two changes to the starting fifteen from their Aviva Premiership match against Gloucester, as they travel to take on near neighbours Sale Sharks this Saturday (KO 14:00)
Opting for as far as possible a settled line up, it gives the Falcons the opportunity to build on a fine attacking platform displayed last time out, scoring 40 points on a sunny spring afternoon in the West Country.
With recent fixtures between the Falcons and Sale being close affairs, the North East side travel looking to take a result to underline the improvements made during the season in their final away game of the campaign.
The changes for this weekend game see Adam Powell coming into the team at outside centre to replace Chris Harris, who left the field early with a stinger to his shoulders a fortnight ago, while in the pack, Calum Green returns to the second row in place of Italian lock Josh Furno.
The settled outlook continues to the bench, where five of the eight replacements are as they were against the Cherry and Whites.
George McGuigan, Eric Fry and Juan Pablo Orlandi continue to provide front row cover, while Richard Mayhew comes into the substitute roster in place of Sean Robinson, who is on duty with Rotherham Titans, in the Green King IPA Championship semi final second leg against Bristol.
Alongside Mayhew, Will Witty will be eager for further first team action, having made his Aviva Premiership debut in the closing stages of the game against Gloucester.
Former British & Irish Lion Mike Blair comes in for Sonatane Takulua as the replacement scrum half in the side, while exponents of the Samoan side step, Anitelea and Alesana Tuilagi lie in wait as the other replacement backs.
Team v Sale: 15 S. Hammersley, 14 A. Tait, 13 A.Powell, 12 JP.Socino, 11 S.Sinoti, 10 R.Clegg, 9 R.Tipuna, 1 R.Vickers, 2 S.Lawson, 3 K.Brookes, 4 C.Green, 5 K.Thompson, 6 M. Wilson, 7 W. Welch (C), 8 A. Hogg
Replacements: 16 G. McGuigan, 17 E. Fry, 18 JP. Orlandi, 19 W. Witty, 20 R. Mayhew, 21 M. Blair, 22 Alesana Tuilagi, 23 Anitelea Tuilagi