Team news: Two changes for Tigers trip

Friday 16 September 2022 Written by: Adam

George Wacokecoke starts at outside centre for the 3pm kick-off at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, with fit-again Carl Fearns coming in at No 8.

That change sees Sean Robinson pushing forward from the back row to the second row, with the Falcons travelling to Leicester for the second time in three weeks after scoring four tries in a 42-28 pre-season defeat on August 26.

Back-rower Connor Collett takes up a place on the bench having overcome injury, while Argentina wing Mateo Carreras is also among the replacements after returning from Rugby Championship duty in New Zealand.

Selecting a starting XV containing 14 English-qualified players, 10 of whom have had an association with the Falcons’ academy, head coach Dave Walder believes his side can kick on after starting their season with an attacking bonus point from their home loss against Harlequins.

“We were never in control of the game last weekend but we did pretty well to score five tries against a good side, and ultimately come away with a bonus point,” he said, referencing the 40-31 defeat.

“Of course we’re disappointed with the way we lost it, having battled back so well to take the lead, but the attitude from the boys was great and there’s lots we can build on.

“This weekend will be a different kind of challenge in terms of how Leicester play compared to Harlequins, but for how we approach our own game there won’t be a massive change. We’ll stick to what we’re about, and we’re building and implementing a few things which will take a little time to really bed in.”

Preparing to face a Tigers side who kicked the ball more than any other team last weekend, Walder said: “Leicester are obviously the champions and are committed to a certain style of playing, and they’ve had success from it, so I can’t see them changing.

“We know what’s coming and have got to make sure we deal with it, but at the same time we’ll throw a few things of our own at them.”

Facing a fixture load which sees his side playing seven games in the month of September, Walder added: “We’ve got three away games in the space of eight days so it’s a challenging time for us, and we could do with a few bodies back.

“We might have to bring in a couple of lads to help with the couple of midweek cup games we have coming up, but Leicester on Saturday is the prime focus and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Saturday’s game is being live-streamed on PRTV live.

[**Click here**][1] to buy your stream for £4.99.

**Newcastle Falcons team to face Leicester Tigers (Saturday, 3pm, Mattioli Woods Welford Road)**

15 Alex Tait, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Pete Lucock, 11 Nathan Earle, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Josh Barton; 1 Phil Brantingham, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Trevor Davison, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sean Robinson, 6 Will Welch (captain), 7 Jamie Blamire, 8 Carl Fearns.

**Replacements:** 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Conrad Cade, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Sebastian de Chaves, 20 Connor Collett, 21 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Mateo Carreras.

**Not available for selection:** Adam Brocklebank, Callum Chick, Luke Coulston, Matthew Dalton, Matt Deehan, Gary Graham, Matias Moroni, Logovi’i Mulipola, Chidera Obonna, Matias Orlando, Tom Penny, Guy Pepper, Vereimi Qorowale, Charlie Smith, Sam Stuart, Philip van der Walt, Michael Young.

**Leicester Tigers:** 15 Chris Ashton, 14 Harry Potter, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Guy Porter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 James Cronin, 2 Charlie Clare, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Harry Wells, 5 Calum Green, 6 George Martin, 7 Ollie Chessum, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (captain).

**Replacements:** 16 Joe Taufete’e, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Olly Cracknell, 20 Tommy Reffell, 21 Jack van Poortvliet, 22 Phil Cokanasiga, 23 Kini Murimurivalu.

**Referee:** Craig Maxwell-Keys.