Strong squad announced to face Georgia

Friday 28 August 2015 Written by: Adam

Newcastle Falcons have named a strong side for Friday’s International Challenge match against Georgia as the club get their 2015/16 season underway.

Facing up to a side gearing up for a Rugby World Cup campaign against Argentina, Namibia, New Zealand and Tonga, the Falcons have weighted their selection in favour of established and experienced players, but have still added in some of the club’s emerging prospects.

This includes Ruaridh Dawson and Dan Marshall, who are in line to feature after impressing in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s.

With young winger Marshall announced in the squad for Friday’s 7s finals, his call up will see a revised 7s squad confirmed later.

In the forwards, the selection sees a host of experienced club stalwarts take to the field against a renowned scrummaging outfit.

Rob Vickers, Scott Lawson and Scott Wilson are the front row men, with Calum Green and player coach Scott MacLeod packing down in the second.

The back row line up adds further physicality to the pack, with Richard Mayhew, Will Welch and Ally Hogg taking the six, seven and eight shirts respectively.

In the backs, Ruki Tipuna and Tom Catterick take the scrum and fly half spots, while in the centre’s the combination of Adam Powell and Chris Harris, which proved a potent threat against Gloucester at Kingsholm in April, is given a chance to redevelop.

In the back three, Alex Tait and Andy Tuilagi take to the wings while Craig Willis will take the full back jersey for his first start for the club’s first team.

On the bench, summer signing Ben Harris is among an extended list of players from who the coaches will pick their final replacements.

Also in the group are the established names of Alex Rogers, George McGuigan, Sean Robinson, Dan Temm and Mark Wilson, while academy player Brett Connon join scrum half Dawson and Dan Marshall, with Dean Richards excited about the first run out of the year.

The Falcons Director of Rugby said: “I think it will be a real test for us and it’s something I am really looking forward to.”

“They have a number of quality players that play at a high level over in France and they will be a stern test for our players. They have one of the players in European rugby in Mamuka Gorgodze, who has run amok for the last six seven years and he will be a handful.”

**Newcastle Falcons squad
versus Georgia – 28 August 2015**

15 Craig Willis, 14. Alex Tait, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Adam Powell, 11. Andy Tuilagi, 10. Tom Catterick, 9. Ruki Tipuna, 1. Rob Vickers, 2. Scott Lawson, 3. Scott Wilson, 4. Calum Green, 5. Scott MacLeod, 6. Richard Mayhew, 7. Will Welch, 8. Ally Hogg.

16. Ben Harris, 17. George McGuigan, 18. Alex Rogers, 19. Sean Robinson, 20. Mark Wilson, 21. Daniel Temm, 22. Dan Marshall, 23. Ruaridh Dawson 24. Brett Connon.