Team news: Stevenson back to face Glasgow

Thursday 14 April 2022 Written by: Adam

The 23-year-old Teessider replaces the injured Mateo Carreras in making his first start since November after recovering from an ankle injury, having come on from the bench during the recent wins over Worcester Warriors and Zebre Parma.

Newcastle and Glasgow go into Friday’s 8pm kick-off at Kingston Park Stadium knowing that either Lyon or Worcester await the winner in the quarter-finals, with tickets priced just £10 for adults and £5 for under-16s.

Former Glasgow lock Greg Peterson comes back into the Falcons’ side, as does hooker George McGuigan, the Premiership Player of the Month who has grounded an incredible 16 tries in 22 games this season.

Eighteen out of the match-day 23, including 12 of Newcastle’s starting 15, have had an involvement with the club’s academy, with head coach Dave Walder hoping for a big home atmosphere against their Scottish visitors.

“Glasgow have got half the Scotland team playing for them, with quality players outside of those boys, and it’ll be a great test,” said Walder, who was part of the Wasps squad which won Europe’s Heineken Cup in his playing days.

“We won up there in a pre-season game with the last play of the game, but you can’t take too much from those friendlies. We know they’re a well-drilled side with quality players, but those are the kinds of challenges you want when you have knockout European rugby at your home ground.

“The club have reduced the ticket prices to £10 for adults and £5 for juniors, which should hopefully help make it a great atmosphere, and Glasgow are actually one of our nearest professional opponents along with Edinburgh and Sale. I’m sure they’ll bring a decent support with them over the border, and there’ll be that real sense of occasion for what is a really important game.”

Admitting his side had made hard work of last weekend’s 25-22 home win over Zebre Parma, leaving it until the last play to find the winning try, Walder said: “We were disappointed with how we played against Zebre, although obviously pleased to have got the win and home advantage.

“I put it down to a bit of complacency from the whole group, coaches included, and we take collective responsibility. We’d had a big win down at Worcester the week before, having gone so long in the Premiership without one, and having performed so well that day I think we maybe took our eye off the ball a bit and took some things for granted.

“You obviously can’t afford to do that at this level, and I’m sure it won’t have been consciously, but it’s just a reminder for all of us that you need to pay full attention to those basics every single game. Ultimately we managed to pull through and get the home draw which everyone is really excited about, and it should be a great occasion on Friday.”

Seeing the EPCR Challenge Cup as a real target for the season now, the head coach added: “As a coach and a player you just want to win silverware, and this is the tournament in which we can do it this season.

“It’s exciting, it’s been a bit last-minute in terms of not finding out who we were going to play until six days before the game, and that’s shaken things up in terms of how we’ve been able to prepare. That’s good, though – it keeps everyone on their toes and it’s important we go as far as we can, both for the supporters and ourselves.

“It’s straight knockout rugby now, and nobody is worrying about things like bonus points, our points difference or trying to get score updates from other games.

“Last Saturday at various points I think we were off to Worcester, then Lyon, then Glasgow, then Northampton or Wasps, and nobody really knew right up until the final whistle. Ultimately we know we just have to beat Glasgow on Friday night, the winner goes forward and takes it from there. It’s nice and simple in terms of the permutations, although it will obviously be a great test against a good Glasgow outfit.”

Tickets are priced just £10 for adults and £5 for juniors (16 or under) by [**clicking here**][1], calling 0191 214 5588 (option 1) or from the stadium in person. Tickets are unreserved in all areas.

Season ticket members and season parking pass holders are reminded that this game is NOT included in their 2020-21 package.

**Newcastle Falcons team v Glasgow Warriors (Friday, 8pm, Kingston Park Stadium)**

15 Tom Penny, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Ben Stevenson, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Louis Schreuder; 1 Adam Brocklebank, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Trevor Davison, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sean Robinson, 6 Josh Basham, 7 Will Welch (captain), 8 Freddie Lockwood.

**Replacements:** 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Kyle Cooper, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Will Montgomery, 20 Tom Marshall, 21 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 22 Joel Hodgson, 23 Iwan Stephens.

**Glasgow Warriors:** 15 Josh McKay, 14 Sebastian Cancelliere, 13 Sione Tuipulotu, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Kyle Steyn, 1O Ross Thompson, 9 Ali Price; 1 Oli Kebble, 2 Johnny Matthews, 3 Simon Berghan, 4 Scott Cummings, 5 Richie Gray, 6 Ryan Wilson (captain), 7 Thomas Gordon, 8 Rory Darge.

**Replacements:** 16 George Turner, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Rob Harley, 20 Ally Miller, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Ollie Smith.

**Referee:** Tual Trainini (France).