Team news: Falcons name side for Doncaster

Friday 02 September 2022 Written by: Adam

Nathan Earle and Adam Radwan form the wing partnership with Iwan Stephens at full-back, Ben Stevenson partnering Pete Lucock in the centres as the Falcons play their second and final pre-season game before their Gallagher Premiership opener at home to Harlequins on Saturday September 10.

Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti starts after scoring one of four Newcastle tries in last Friday’s 42-28 defeat away to Premiership champions Leicester Tigers, with a hand injury ruling out fellow scrum-half Michael Young.

Will Welch captains the team from blind-side flanker, academy product Marcus Tiffen starting at open-side with Carl Fearns at No.8.

Fly-half Tian Schoeman is set for his Falcons debut after being named as part of an 11-man bench, with the South African having arrived from Bath during the summer. Josh Thomas is also included among the replacements after kicking two touchline conversions at Leicester as well as creating a try for Iwan Stephens during an impressive debut.

Lock-forward Josh Peters returns to his former club having joined Newcastle from Doncaster in the off-season, while flanker Gary Graham (knee) and scrum-half Michael Young (broken hand) are added to the club’s injury list

Head coach Dave Walder said ahead of the Castle Park clash: “We’ve tried to get the blend right to give us the best preparation for Harlequins next weekend.

“We’ve gone with a smaller squad compared with last week, partly because we’re getting closer to that Premiership start line and partly due to picking up a couple more injuries.

“It’s always a balance between trying to give game time to as many guys as possible and getting your team prepared for the first league game, but it’s a good side that we’ve gone with. We want a more consistent performance than we showed last Friday at Leicester, and there are a few things we’ve been working on which I’m looking forward to seeing.”

The Falcons boss added: “It’s entirely about us this week rather than focusing too much on the opposition.

“Doncaster had what they will feel was a disappointing result last weekend at home to Wasps, but we haven’t looked too much into that. It’s just about what we can do to be in the best possible shape for next weekend at home to Harlequins.

“Doncaster had a good season in the Championship so we’re expecting a tough test at their place, and we’re all looking forward to it. They’ve got a nice pitch and a good set-up, and with the relative proximity between the two clubs hopefully we’ll take a few supporters down to create a good atmosphere.”

Friday’s game is not being live-streamed but the Falcons will have Twitter updates during play, plus a report and reaction on the club website after the final whistle.

**Newcastle Falcons team v Doncaster Knights (Friday, 7.45pm, Castle Park)**

15 Iwan Stephens, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Ben Stevenson, 12 Pete Lucock, 11 Nathan Earle, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti; 1 Phil Brantingham, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Trevor Davison, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Matthew Dalton, 6 Will Welch (captain), 7 Marcus Tiffen, 8 Carl Fearns.

**Replacements:** 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Josh Peters, 20 Jamie Blamire, 21 Josh Barton, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Ewan Greenlaw, [BLANK SHIRTS] Tom Marshall, Josh Thomas.

**Not available for selection:** Adam Brocklebank, Mateo Carreras, Callum Chick, Jeremy Civil, Connor Collett, Matt Deehan, Ben Douglas, Gary Graham, Nathan Greenwood, Louie Johnson, Matias Moroni, Chidera Obonna, Matias Orlando, Tom Penny, Guy Pepper, Vereimi Qorowale, Sean Robinson, Charlie Smith, Sam Stuart, Alex Tait, Philip van der Walt, George Wacokecoke, Michael Young.

**Doncaster Knights:** 15 Harry Davey, 14 George Simpson, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Connor Edwards, 11 Maliq Holden, 10 Sam Olver, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Conor Davidson, 2 George Roberts, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 John Kelly, 5 Ben Murphy, 6 Sam Hudson, 7 Jared Cardew, 8 Thom Smith.

**Replacements:** 16 George Edgson, 17 Maurice Nwakor, 18 Mak Wilson, 19 Ehize Ehizode, 20 Sam Daly, 21 Joe Green, 22 Fraser Strachan, 23 Robbie Smith, Karl Garside, Will Yarnell, Will Holling, Jack Spittle, Alec Lloyd-Seed.

**Referee:** Hamish Smales.