Team news: Schoeman starts against Saints

Friday 18 November 2022 Written by: Adam

The South African forms part of a side showing 11 changes from the one which won 27-21 at Gloucester last weekend.

Sebastian de Chaves is paired in the second row with guest player Jamie Berrisford, a 26-year-old from Scottish club Watsonians, with full-back Alex Tait captaining the side.

Josh Barton comes in at scrum-half, with Iwan Stephens on the wing. Jamie Blamire and Mark Tampin start in the front row after coming on from the bench during last weekend’s away win over Gloucester, with teenager Guy Pepper continuing at open-side flanker.

Vereimi Qorowale is in line to make his home debut after being named among the replacements, with Welsh fly-half Josh Thomas also set to feature in a side being coached by head of academy James Ponton and academy head coach PJ Butler.

Ponton said: “The week has been exciting and full of challenges, and we’re looking forward to the game.

“The first-team boys who aren’t involved in the match have been really good in buying into our preparation and helping get the guys ready. We’re excited about getting some game time into a number of lads who haven’t played as much for us this season, and it’s been a positive week.

“The fact that it’s a weekend game rather than a Tuesday or Wednesday night also makes a massive difference in terms of what we are able to do.

“When you’re midweek and sandwiched between two Premiership games you’re really limited in what sessions you can put on, and the games don’t get as much attention or resource put towards them. It’s different on a weekend because you’re the main event, there’s more of a build-up and we’ve got the England game on afterwards which a lot of people will be keen to watch. It means our players are the centre of attention, and that’s really good for them.

“Off the back of our last cup win at Leicester a lot of these guys are excited to get back into it, and there’s a lot of belief among the group.”

Asked about the qualification picture, which has been complicated by the withdrawals of Wasps and Worcester from the pool phase, Ponton said: “From our side we’re just thinking about winning the game because the qualification criteria has been a bit up in the air, to say the least.

“There’s been cross-league games and then some teams playing more times than others due to the Wasps and Worcester scenario, and clarity hasn’t been easy to find in term of exactly what’s happening. All I’m saying to the players is let’s play well and win the game, and then let the other stuff take care of itself.”

Assessing the threat posed by the Saints, he added: “I’ve watched all of Northampton’s cup games, and they play what I would say is a bit of an all-court game.

“They’re very ambitious, they move the ball a lot and they’re not scared to try things in areas where if you lose the ball you’re under a lot of pressure.

“If we get ourselves into a good position I think we could really get into them. With some effective defensive reads we can force turnover ball when they try to play from deep, and if you catch teams in that way behind the gain line they can often enter a downward spiral.”

Forming part of a rugby-filled day at Kingston Park, Ponton said: “If you want to support local guys playing a good level of rugby, then it’s a great day to come down and watch.

“There’s the RGS Newcastle v Durham School game at 12 noon, our own game against Northampton at 3.30pm and then England v Zealand at 5.30pm on the TV, so it’s a fantastic afternoon’s entertainment.”

Saturday’s game is not on TV or live stream.

Season ticket holders are reminded this game IS included in their 2022-23 package.

[**Click here to buy tickets.**][1]

**Newcastle Falcons team v Northampton Saints (Saturday, 3.30pm, Kingston Park Stadium)**

15 Alex Tait (captain), 14 Iwan Stephens, 13 Zach Kerr, 12 Ewan Greenlaw, 11 Nathan Earle, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Josh Barton; 1 Conrad Cade, 2 Jamie Blamire, 3 Mark Tampin, 4 Jamie Berrisford, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Freddie Lockwood, 7 Guy Pepper, 8 Tom Marshall.

**Replacements:** 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Mark Dormer, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Rory Ward, 20 Marcus Tiffen, 21 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 22 Josh Thomas, 23 Vereimi Qorowale.

**Not available for selection:** Phil Brantingham, Mateo Carreras, Sam Clark, Connor Collett, Luke Coulston, Matthew Dalton, Trevor Davison, Carl Fearns, Gary Graham, Conor Kenny, Pete Lucock, George Merrick, Matias Moroni, Matias Orlando, Tom Penny, Josh Peters, Greg Peterson, Oliver Spencer, Philip van der Walt, George Wacokecoke, Will Welch.

**Northampton Saints:** 15 James Ramm, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Ethan Grayson, 12 Tom Litchfield, 11 Tom Collins, 10 Joel Matavesi, 9 Callum Braley (captain); 1 Ethan Waller , 2 Robbie Smith, 3 Ehren Painter, 4 Brandon Nansen, 5 Tom Lockett, 6 Kayde Sylvester, 7 Angus Scott-Young, 8 Geordie Irvine.

**Replacements:** 16 Callum Burns, 17 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, 18 Alfie Petch, 19 Emeka Atuanya, 20 Henry Pollock, 21 Archie McParland, 22 Toby Thame, 23 George Hendy.

**Referee:** Dan Jones.


**Jamie Berrisford:** Lock, Watsonians, 5/11/1996, 193cm, 116kg.

**Rory Ward:** Lock, Newcastle University, 01/03/2003, 196cm, 108kg.