TEAM NEWS: Mermoz among debutants in double header

Friday 11 August 2017 Written by: Adam

The European Champions Cup-winning centre (pictured) joined the Falcons from Leicester Tigers in the summer and will start in the second game of a packed afternoon at Kingston Park Stadium, with fellow recruits Cameron Cowell, Sam Stuart, Josh Matavesi, Toby Flood, Trevor Davison, Ryan Burrows, Adam Radwan, Charlie Wilson and Sami Mavinga also making their Falcons bows over the course of the two games.

Tonga’s most-capped player Nili Latu captains the side for the opening match against Championship semi-finalists Doncaster, with Cowell and Radwan adding pace to the back three after shining in last month’s run to the final of the Singha Premiership 7s. Fijian international Matavesi starts at inside centre having joined from Ospreys, Stuart featuring at scrum-half following his move north from Richmond.

Darlington Mowden Park prop Jack Payne starts at tight-head, Championship Dream Team forward Glen Young packing down at lock against the club with which he spent most of last season.

Returning fly-half Toby Flood is named in a 15-man replacement contingent which will cover both games, the former England international joined on the bench by the club’s most recent cap, flanker Mark Wilson. Leeds Beckett scrum-half James Elliott and Durham University prop Diogo Ferreira are also among the replacements on a day which will see 43 players in total taking the field.

The second game against Nottingham sees Mermoz paired with Juan Pablo Socino in a potent midfield partnership, the team led by Scottish back-rower Ally Hogg. French prop Sami Mavinga makes his debut on the loose-head side after joining from Lyon, with former Yorkshire Carnegie captain Ryan Burrows starting at No 8.

Tickets for Saturday’s double header are priced just £10 for adults and £5 for juniors. To book call 0871 226 6060, [**click here**][1] or visit the ticket office in person.

Season ticket members are entitled to free entry but must contact the club to be allocated a seat, with only the West and East Stands are open on the day. Season ticket members can do this by calling 0871 226 6060 or visiting the ticket office during opening hours.

**Newcastle Falcons v Doncaster Knights (2pm)**

15 Cameron Cowell

14 Adam Radwan

13 Chris Harris

12 Josh Matavesi

11 Sinoti Sinoti

10 Joel Hodgson

9 Sam Stuart

1 Rob Vickers

2 Kyle Cooper

3 Jack Payne

4 Will Witty

5 Glen Young

6 Harrison Orr

7 Nili Latu (captain)

8 Callum Chick

**Newcastle Falcons v Nottingham (4.30pm)**

15 Brett Connon

14 Belisario Agulla

13 Maxime Mermoz

12 Juan Pablo Socino

11 Ben Stevenson

10 Craig Willis

9 Ruaridh Dawson

1 Sami Mavinga

2 Santiago Socino

3 Trevor Davison

4 Calum Green

5 Evan Olmstead

6 Ally Hogg (captain)

7 Simon Uzokwe

8 Ryan Burrows

**Replacements (for both games)**

16 Scott Lawson

17 Jamie Blamire

18 Adam Brocklebank

19 Nick Civetta

20 Mark Wilson

21 James Elliott

22 Toby Flood

23 Simon Hammersley

[BLANK] Charlie Wilson

[BLANK] Ben Sowrey

[BLANK] Diogo Ferreira

[BLANK] Josh Williams

[BLANK] Max Davies


**v Doncaster Knights (2pm)**

Referee: Hamish Smales

Assistant referees: Matt Daubney & Chris Sharp

**v Nottingham (4.30pm)**

Referee: Andrew Jackson

Assistant referees: John Meredith & Wayne Falla