Team news: Young returns to face Leicester

Friday 20 May 2022 Written by: Adam

The 3pm kick-off at Kingston Park Stadium sees Young lining up against his old club, having missed the entirety of the campaign through injury.

Luther Burrell starts at inside centre, Matias Orlando pushing out one place in the absence of Ben Stevenson, who misses out due to a head knock.

Trevor Davison moves back across to tight-head prop as Adam Brocklebank comes in on the loose-head side – George McGuigan continuing at hooker in the week he received a call-up to England’s upcoming training squad.

Greg Peterson returns to the second row as Sean Robinson misses out through injury, No 8 Callum Chick captaining the team as Newcastle aim to beat Leicester at Kingston Park for the second time this season following March’s 36-28 Premiership Rugby Cup victory.

Former Tiger Logovi’i Mulipola is named on the bench for the Falcons, who have had two free weekends due to the scheduling of the European quarter and semi-finals.

“We’re refreshed and raring to go during what is a real stop-start finish to the season,” said head coach Dave Walder.

“Everyone’s excited to be playing against Leicester – a side who have had a dramatic turnaround over the last year or so. They’re sitting pretty at the top of the league and have a real clear identity of how they want to play the game under Steve Borthwick, so it’s a great challenge in our last home game to test ourselves against them.

“We haven’t played as well as we would have liked at home this season, and for various reasons have not played a style of rugby that we’ve been really happy with. Saturday is our chance to put our stamp on a game of rugby, play the way we want with a smile on our faces and try to get people through the turnstiles again.”

Ahead of what will be the last home game for director of rugby Dean Richards before he steps aside in the off-season, Walder was asked about his excitement around taking on added responsibility.

“From my side it’s an exciting prospect to try and take the club forward after the great work that Dean has done as director of rugby, and we’re just in the process of formalising the details around who does what in terms of how the whole thing will work,” said the former England fly-half.

“Dean has always been great in terms of wanting to develop people and see them push on in their careers, and it’s no different with the coaches. He challenges you in a good way at times but also lets you get on with it, and it’s been great to be able to learn from him. We’ve had some tough times and some very good times, but it’s undeniable that he’s had a massive influence on the club. In many ways he has kept us going.

“He won’t want anyone talking about him above the game, though, and I imagine he will want to merge off quietly rather than making a big scene. Everyone who’s around the club or follows it to any extent already knows what a huge presence he has been here, and that’s the main thing.”

Walder added: “As a group, we’re just desperate to go out on a high with it being our last home game.

“For some guys it will be the last game they play here in a Falcons shirt, and we’ll want to send them off on a really positive note. Obviously for our fans we want to give them a performance to be proud of as a lasting memory to take into next season, and there’s plenty riding on it from our side.

“We’ve prepared well for the game, and it’s about bringing the right level of emotion and giving ourselves the chance to win.

“Leicester taught us a lesson down at their place back in January when there was a deluge of rain 15 minutes before kick-off, and the best controlling half-backs in the league, playing behind a dominant pack, played the conditions perfectly. They played to their identity, and it’s worked well for them all season. Everyone knows what they’re going to bring, so it’s a case of firstly trying to stop them, and then secondly implementing our own style and strengths onto them.”

Tickets for Saturday’s game are available by [**clicking here**][1].

For those unable to make it in person to Kingston Park Stadium, [**click here**][2] to buy the PRTV live stream for £4.99.

**Newcastle Falcons team v Leicester Tigers (Saturday, 3pm, Kingston Park Stadium)**

15 Alex Tait, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Michael Young; 1 Adam Brocklebank, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Trevor Davison, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Philip van der Walt, 6 Gary Graham, 7 Josh Basham, 8 Callum Chick (captain).

**Replacements:** 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Freddie Lockwood, 20 Carl Fearns, 21 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 22 Will Haydon-Wood, 23 Iwan Stephens.

**Leicester Tigers:** 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Guy Porter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 George Ford, 9 Richard Wigglesworth; 1 Ellis Genge (captain), 2 Nic Dolly, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Ollie Chessum, 5 Harry Wells, 6 George Martin, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 8 Jasper Wiese.

**Replacements:** 16 Charlie Clare, 17 Nephi Leatigaga, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Cameron Henderson, 20 Tommy Reffell, 21 Jack van Poortvliet, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Matt Scott.

**Referee:** Anthony Woodthorpe.