Team news: Pumas pair to start against Bristol

Thursday 29 September 2022 Written by: Adam

Moroni (right of picture) makes his Falcons debut at outside centre after starting in the Premiership final for champions Leicester Tigers in June, before embarking on a Rugby Championship campaign which saw he and Orlando helping their country defeat New Zealand and Australia.

Tom Penny makes his first start of the season at full-back after returning from injury from the bench last weekend at Worcester Warriors, while fit-again Sam Stuart is in at scrum-half.

Captain Will Welch returns on the blind-side flank having missed the Worcester trip due to illness, with Sean Robinson moving into the second row.

On the bench there is a return for Samoan international prop Logovi’i Mulipola and centre Pete Lucock, with the Falcons out for a repeat of the 13-5 home victory they enjoyed over Bristol on their last visit to the North East.

Explaining the decision to start both of his returning Pumas, Walder said: “When players of that quality become available you’ve just got to pick them.

“They landed on Monday evening, they were training with the team on Tuesday and they’ve just slotted straight in.

“Matias Orlando is obviously familiar with a lot of what we do having been with us for a couple of seasons already, and even during their time away with Argentina I’ve been speaking to them both regularly and communicating around what we’re trying to do with the team here.

“It’s a big boost to have those guys available to us, and then also at full-back and scrum-half we have Tom Penny and Sam Stuart both fit to start, plus Will Welch back as captain.”

Determined to bounce back from last weekend’s loss at Worcester Warriors, Walder said: “I know our supporters will have shared our disappointment around what happened last Saturday, despite having actually started the game pretty well in taking an early lead.

“We’ve spent time going over it and looking at how we can improve on Friday night against Bristol Bears, for what should be a really exciting game.

“We obviously know Pat Lam well from his time up here as a player, and he’s got Bristol to the top of the league with three wins from three. They’re a dangerous side with a lot of attacking threats, but at the same time we also feel there are opportunities there for us to exploit.”

[**Click here**][1] to buy tickets for Friday’s game, which is being shown live in the UK on BT Sport.

**Newcastle Falcons team to face Bristol Bears (Friday, 7.45pm, Kingston Park Stadium)**

15 Tom Penny, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Matias Orlando, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Sam Stuart; 1 Adam Brocklebank, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Trevor Davison, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sean Robinson, 6 Will Welch (captain), 7 Connor Collett, 8 Callum Chick.

**Replacements:** 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Sebastian de Chaves, 20 Jamie Blamire, 21 Josh Barton, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Pete Lucock.

**Not available for selection:** Phil Brantingham, Luke Coulston, Nathan Earle, Carl Fearns, Gary Graham, Tom Marshall, Chidera Obonna, Vereimi Qorowale, Charlie Smith, Alex Tait, Josh Thomas, Philip van der Walt, Michael Young.

**Bristol Bears:** 15 Rich Lane, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Jack Bates, 12 Piers O’Conor, 11 Henry Purdy, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Andy Uren; 1 Jake Woolmore, 2 Will Capon, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Ed Holmes, 5 Joe Joyce, 6 Chris Vui, 7 Jake Heenan (captain), 8 Magnus Bradbury.

**Replacements:** 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Max Lahiff, 19 John Hawkins, 20 Dan Thomas, 21 Harry Randall, 22 Callum Sheedy, 23 Sam Bedlow.

**Referee:** Luke Pearce.