Team news: 100 up for Trevor Davison at Bath

Friday 30 December 2022 Written by: Adam

The 30-year-old was playing hooker for Blaydon RFC third team when Falcons forwards coach Micky Ward harnessed his propping his potential, going on to make a century of appearances for Blaydon before signing professionally with the Falcons in 2017.

Earning a full England cap as well as becoming a Premiership regular, Davison forms part of a Falcons side looking for their fourth victory at Bath in their past five visits.

Argentina international Matias Orlando returns at centre in place of countryman Matias Moroni, with Ben Stevenson added to the right wing. Tom Penny captains the side from inside centre with Sam Stuart starting at scrum-half, having scored the decisive second try in last week’s home win over high-flying Sale Sharks.

The Falcons field an unchanged pack from the one which started against Sale, with head coach Dave Walder relishing the prospect of a trip to the Roman city.

He said: “Bath’s win at Kingston Park last month was a big moment in their season, and they’ve kicked on from there.

“We were disappointed that we didn’t play well that day but Bath took their chances, and they’ve taken confidence from it as you can see from their subsequent results. They’ve had some great wins and were unlucky away at Exeter last weekend, which is testament to how far they’ve come.

“Like ourselves they’ve got a new coaching set-up which takes time to bed in, but their results have improved recently, helped by an influx of players to their squad. When we had the sad news about Wasps and Worcester I’m sure most clubs made lists of the players they would want to bring in, and Bath were able to land pretty much the entire top four or five with the likes of Ollie Lawrence, Ted Hill, Alfie Barbeary and Fergus Lee-Warner to name just a few.

“It’s credit to them that they were able to go out into the market mid-season and land players of that quality, and it’s only natural that it’s had a beneficial impact on their results. They’re starting to see the fruits of their labours, as I would like to think we are with the game plan we have been putting in place.

“We’re only just starting our journey but we’re looking forward to going down to Bath, putting them under some pressure and getting a better result than the last time we played against them. The weather forecast isn’t great so we’ll have to roll up our sleeves, but we showed last week against Sale that we’re more than capable of doing that.”

Referencing his side’s 20-14 triumph over the Sharks, coming back from 14-0 down at half-time, Walder said: “It was a pretty rubbish evening weather-wise and some of our accuracy and discipline was a bit lacking in the first half, but we sorted it after half-time and I thought the lads played really well.

“We fixed a few bits and pieces and applied pressure in the right areas, which is what we’ll be hoping to do on Saturday again down at Bath. Mark Laycock put together a great attacking game plan, and the set-piece dominance we were able to achieve played a big part in the result.

“Against Bath at home we had a lot of pressure in their 22 in the first half-hour which we weren’t able to convert, and in hindsight we talked about the fact we should have taken our points rather than going for the corner. Turning pressure into points is so important, and that will be the case again down at Bath.”

Victory on Saturday could see the Falcons starting the new year in the top half of the Gallagher Premiership table, with only nine points separating bottom from fourth in the standings.

“I think the league is in a good place from a product point of view,” said Walder, whose side have won three times in their last four visits to The Rec.

“Every game is competitive, and it’s so tight that a couple of wins can propel you right up there. We’re just concentrating on each game rather than getting overly concerned with where we are in the table, but Saturday is another opportunity for us to continue our progression.”

Newcastle travel to the West country without Guy Pepper (foot) and Sean Robinson (shoulder), who are both set for lengthy spells on the sidelines after undergoing operations this week. But one man who will be in the thick of things once again is Trevor Davison, who runs out for his 100th appearance in Falcons colours.

“Trev isn’t somebody who relishes the limelight so I’m sure he won’t want a big fuss made, but we know how valuable he is to us,” said Walder.

“He’s a stalwart of the club, he plays both sides of the scrum really well and is great to have around.

“He’s definitely not a talker – I think I’ve heard him speak three times in team meetings during the past five seasons – but it’s great that he’s come through in the way he has from Blaydon and made 100 appearances for the Falcons.

“I hope he goes on to make 100 more, because the go-forward and set-piece strength he gives us is really important.”

Saturday’s game is being shown on PRTV Live. [**Click here**][1] to book your stream for £4.99.

**Newcastle Falcons team v Bath Rugby (Saturday, 3pm, The Recreation Ground)**

15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Ben Stevenson, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Tom Penny (captain), 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Sam Stuart; 1 Adam Brocklebank, 2 Jamie Blamire, 3 Trevor Davison, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Gary Graham, 7 Callum Chick, 8 Carl Fearns.

**Replacements:** 16 Ollie Fletcher, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Matthew Dalton, 20 Tom Marshall, 21 Michael Young, 22 Matias Moroni, 23 Adam Radwan.

**Not available for selection:** Phil Brantingham, Sam Clark, Connor Collett, Matt Deehan, Freddie Lockwood, Pete Lucock, Charlie Maddison, Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, Guy Pepper, Josh Peters, Sean Robinson, Tian Schoeman, Oliver Spencer, Philip van der Walt, George Wacokecoke, Will Welch.

**Bath Rugby:** 15 Matt Gallagher, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Ruaridh McConnochie, 10 Orlando Bailey, 9 Ben Spencer (captain); 1 Lewis Boyce, 2 Niall Annett, 3 D’Arcy Rae, 4 Dave Attwood, 5 Fergus Lee-Warner, 6 Ted Hill, 7 Sam Underhill, 8 Josh Bayliss.

**Replacements:** 16 John Stewart, 17 Valeriy Morozov, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Miles Reid, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Jonathan Joseph, 23 Chris Cloete.

**Referee:** Jack Makepeace.