Team news: De Chaves starts against Saints

Friday 14 October 2022 Written by: Adam

The experienced lock comes into the side in place of Greg Peterson, with Tom Penny and George McGuigan named as co-captains in the absence of Will Welch.

Freddie Lockwood makes his first start of the season at No 8 as Callum Chick joins the Falcons’ injured list, while Matthew Dalton makes his Premiership debut in the second row.

There is a return at fly-half for fit-again Brett Connon who needs just two points to reach the 300 mark in Falcons’ colours, with Ben Stevenson and Pete Lucock coming into the centres.

Argentina’s Mateo Carreras continues on the wing after a start to the season which has seen him beating more defenders than any other player in the Gallagher Premiership (18), scoring four tries in his four games.

On the bench there could be a first team debut for 19-year-old flanker Guy Pepper, with head coach Dave Walder looking forward to going up against former house-mate Phil Dowson, who is now the Saints’ director of rugby.

Walder said: “Dows and I always hated playing against each other because we’re such good mates, and one of us has to lose.

“I’ll probably go for dinner with him on Friday night or at least pop round to see him and his family, and we’re pretty relaxed about it. We’re both professional though, and once it’s game day then your full focus is on doing everything you can to give your team the best possible chance of winning.

“You’re not thinking about the fact you shared a house for four years or that he’s godfather to one of your kids, because you’re just concentrating on doing your own job. I don’t think we’re going to be having any scraps on the touchline, but the occasional barbed comment might come out just to see how he takes it!”

Newcastle were beaten away to Northampton on the final day of last season having won on their previous three league visits, Walder saying: “It’ll be hard to stop them, but if we get our own stuff right then we’ll cause them some problems.

“Northampton have the most offloads in the Premiership, they’re playing with confidence and they have good individual threats who like to move the ball. They’ve recruited really well in their forward pack to add a bit more grit and ball-carrying threat, and we know they will challenge us.

“We’re confident we can challenge them back in certain areas, and up until last season when they needed to win to have a chance of getting into the play-offs we’ve had a good record down there in winning our last three or four league games. We nicked a couple of those with last-minute tries through the likes of Mark Wilson and Nili Latu, and our record there is actually pretty good.

“I think Northampton would be the first to admit they’ve been a bit inconsistent this season. They play a great style of rugby and move the ball really well, they’ve got an exciting group of backs and a bit more punch in their forwards now. Those forwards create a lot of space for them, and it will be a great test for us going down there.”

Saturday’s 3pm kick-off is not on TV in the UK but you can watch all the action on PRTV Live, with the stream priced at £4.99 by [**clicking here**][1].

**Newcastle Falcons team to face Northampton Saints (Saturday, 3pm, cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens)**

15 Tom Penny (co-captain), 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Ben Stevenson, 12 Pete Lucock, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Sam Stuart; 1 Adam Brocklebank, 2 George McGuigan (co-captain), 3 Richard Palframan, 4 Matthew Dalton, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Sean Robinson, 7 Connor Collett, 8 Freddie Lockwood.

**Replacements:** 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 George Merrick, 20 Guy Pepper, 21 Michael Young, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 George Wacokecoke.

**Not available for selection:** Callum Chick, Sam Clark, Trevor Davison, Nathan Earle, Carl Fearns, Gary Graham, Matias Moroni, Matias Orlando, Josh Peters, Greg Peterson, Oliver Spencer, Philip van der Walt, Will Welch.

**Northampton Saints:** 15 George Furbank, 14 Tom Collins, 13 Fraser Dingwall (captain), 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Ollie Sleightholme, 10 James Grayson, 9 Alex Mitchell; 1 Alex Waller, 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Paul Hill, 4 David Ribbans, 5 Alex Moon, 6 Alex Coles, 7 Aaron Hinkley, 8 Juarno Augustus.

**Replacements:** 16 Robbie Smith, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Alfie Petch, 19 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Matt Proctor, 23 George Hendy.

**Referee:** Jack Makepeace.