Team news: Tait skippers Falcons on Saturday

Friday 10 February 2023 Written by: Adam

The foundation raises funds and awareness for research into motor neurone disease, the currently incurable condition which last year claimed the life of former Falcons, Scotland and Melrose great Doddie Weir.

Ticket sales for the 1.30pm kick-off will help generate money for the charity, with Newcastle captained by double centurion Alex Tait.

Fijian flyer Vereimi Qorowale starts on the wing in partnership with Iwan Stephens – centre Zach Kerr starting after the recent announcement of his new two-year contract.

Josh Thomas and Josh Barton form an exciting half-back pairing, with Argentina international Pedro Rubiolo starting in the back row.

Newcastle University lock Adam Scott is named among the replacements for a game which is included on the Falcons’ season ticket, and will be followed at 4.30pm when the club’s Under-18s team plays against Northampton Saints Under-18s.

Falcons head coach Dave Walder, a former team-mate of Doddie Weir during his time at Kingston Park, said: “Hopefully the North East sporting public will come out in their numbers and support a great cause in Doddie’s foundation.

“Having not had a game for a couple of weeks it’s a great chance for some of our lads to get a run-out, and it should be a great occasion with all the love and admiration that people have for Doddie.

“He would have said he hated all the attention but I think secretly he would have loved it, and it’s only right that we do our bit to try and raise funds to find a cure for motor neurone disease.”

After the game Walder will form part of a panel of Falcons legends taking part in a Q&A in the West Stand 100 Club, with team-mates Stuart Grimes, Tony Underwood, Garath Archer and Micky Ward reminiscing about Doddie and sharing stories from their playing days.

[**Click here**][1] to reserve your place at the talk-in, with a suggested donation of £5 to My Name’5 Doddie.

[**Click here**][2] to buy your tickets for the game, which is not being televised or streamed online.

**Newcastle Falcons team v Southern Knights (Saturday, 1.30pm, Kingston Park Stadium)**

15 Alex Tait (captain), 14 Vereimi Qorowale, 13 Zach Kerr, 12 Pete Lucock, 11 Iwan Stephens, 10 Josh Thomas, 9 Josh Barton; 1 Conrad Cade, 2 Ollie Fletcher, 3 Mark Tampin, 4 Matthew Dalton, 5 Freddie Lockwood, 6 Pedro Rubiolo, 7 Marcus Tiffen, 8 Tom Marshall.

**Replacements:** 16 Charlie Smith, 17 Mark Dormer, 18 Conor Kenny, 19 Adam Scott, 20 Matt Deehan, 21 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 22 Jeremy Civil, 23 Chidera Obonna, [blank shirt] Mike Rewcastle.

**Southern Knights:** 15 Nathan Sweeney, 14 Keiran Clark, 13 Paddy Anderson, 12 Robbie Chalmers, 11 Ryan Cottrel, 10 Bruce Houston, 9 Callum Davidson; 1 Grant Shiells, 2 Russell Anderson, 3 Craig Greer, 4 Erem Demirel, 5 Jamie Campbell, 6 Will Hopes, 7 Allan Ferrie, 8 Gary Young.

**Replacements:** 16 James Bett, 17 Jack Dobie, 18 Eoin Harrison, 19 Clark Skeldon, 20 Cammy Thompson, 21 Murray Redpath, 23 Harris Rutherford, 24 Murray Wilson, 25 Cammy Meager.

**Referee:** George Selwood.