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Team news: Falcons name side for Doncaster



Nathan Earle starts on the left wing

Friday 2 September 2022

Newcastle Falcons have named their side for Friday’s pre-season friendly at Doncaster Knights, naming an all-English-qualified back line for the 7.45pm kick-off at Castle Park.

Nathan Earle and Adam Radwan form the wing partnership with Iwan Stephens at full-back, Ben Stevenson partnering Pete Lucock in the centres as the Falcons play their second and final pre-season game before their Gallagher Premiership opener at home to Harlequins on Saturday September 10.

Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti starts after scoring one of four Newcastle tries in last Friday’s 42-28 defeat away to Premiership champions Leicester Tigers, with a hand injury ruling out fellow scrum-half Michael Young.

Will Welch captains the team from blind-side flanker, academy product Marcus Tiffen starting at open-side with Carl Fearns at No.8.

Fly-half Tian Schoeman is set for his Falcons debut after being named as part of an 11-man bench, with the South African having arrived from Bath during the summer. Josh Thomas is also included among the replacements after kicking two touchline conversions at Leicester as well as creating a try for Iwan Stephens during an impressive debut.

Lock-forward Josh Peters returns to his former club having joined Newcastle from Doncaster in the off-season, while flanker Gary Graham (knee) and scrum-half Michael Young (broken hand) are added to the club’s injury list

Head coach Dave Walder said ahead of the Castle Park clash: “We’ve tried to get the blend right to give us the best preparation for Harlequins next weekend.

“We’ve gone with a smaller squad compared with last week, partly because we’re getting closer to that Premiership start line and partly due to picking up a couple more injuries.

“It’s always a balance between trying to give game time to as many guys as possible and getting your team prepared for the first league game, but it’s a good side that we’ve gone with. We want a more consistent performance than we showed last Friday at Leicester, and there are a few things we’ve been working on which I’m looking forward to seeing.”

The Falcons boss added: “It’s entirely about us this week rather than focusing too much on the opposition.

“Doncaster had what they will feel was a disappointing result last weekend at home to Wasps, but we haven’t looked too much into that. It’s just about what we can do to be in the best possible shape for next weekend at home to Harlequins.

“Doncaster had a good season in the Championship so we’re expecting a tough test at their place, and we’re all looking forward to it. They’ve got a nice pitch and a good set-up, and with the relative proximity between the two clubs hopefully we’ll take a few supporters down to create a good atmosphere.”

Friday’s game is not being live-streamed but the Falcons will have Twitter updates during play, plus a report and reaction on the club website after the final whistle.

Newcastle Falcons team v Doncaster Knights (Friday, 7.45pm, Castle Park)

15 Iwan Stephens, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Ben Stevenson, 12 Pete Lucock, 11 Nathan Earle, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti; 1 Phil Brantingham, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Trevor Davison, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Matthew Dalton, 6 Will Welch (captain), 7 Marcus Tiffen, 8 Carl Fearns.

Replacements: 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Josh Peters, 20 Jamie Blamire, 21 Josh Barton, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Ewan Greenlaw, [BLANK SHIRTS] Tom Marshall, Josh Thomas.

Not available for selection: Adam Brocklebank, Mateo Carreras, Callum Chick, Jeremy Civil, Connor Collett, Matt Deehan, Ben Douglas, Gary Graham, Nathan Greenwood, Louie Johnson, Matias Moroni, Chidera Obonna, Matias Orlando, Tom Penny, Guy Pepper, Vereimi Qorowale, Sean Robinson, Charlie Smith, Sam Stuart, Alex Tait, Philip van der Walt, George Wacokecoke, Michael Young.

Doncaster Knights: 15 Harry Davey, 14 George Simpson, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Connor Edwards, 11 Maliq Holden, 10 Sam Olver, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Conor Davidson, 2 George Roberts, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 John Kelly, 5 Ben Murphy, 6 Sam Hudson, 7 Jared Cardew, 8 Thom Smith.

Replacements: 16 George Edgson, 17 Maurice Nwakor, 18 Mak Wilson, 19 Ehize Ehizode, 20 Sam Daly, 21 Joe Green, 22 Fraser Strachan, 23 Robbie Smith, Karl Garside, Will Yarnell, Will Holling, Jack Spittle, Alec Lloyd-Seed.

Referee: Hamish Smales.

Source – Newcastle Falcons Rugby


Baxter issues Moon injury update



Exeter Chiefs

By Mark Stevens

Rob Baxter says he cannot give a timescale as to when prop Ben Moon will return to the Exeter Chiefs match-day squad.

The 33-year-old forward is currently Exeter’s longest-serving player, having made his debut in 2008 away to Sedgley Park, and is the last remaining member of their 2009-10 promotion squad.

The England international, however, has not featured for the Devon club since coming off the bench against Munster in last April’s Heineken Champions Cup clash at Sandy Park.

Asked by the media this week about Moon, the Chiefs’ Director of Rugby said: “I wouldn’t hold out hope that he’s going to be appearing soon. It’s been a challenge for Ben for a little period of time now, it’s not just been this season.

“He’s had periods in and out with it, it’s something that’s been affecting him for a little while and because of what it is we just have to be very careful with it.”

Moon has featured in all six of Exeter’s Premiership final appearances at Twickenham – and he also played in the 2020 European Champions Cup final win over Racing 92, and Exeter’s first major final when they beat Northampton Saints to win the 2014 LV Cup.

Moon won eight England caps in the 2018-19 season, but did not make the squad for that autumn’s World Cup in Japan.

“He’s still active around the club, he’s still here, he’s in training, he’s continuing very hard with his rehab and getting everything else he can right, but we’ve just got to be really careful around that neck.

“It’s probably one of those things where it’s getting to the stage where there’s not a lot more we can do. I can’t talk for Ben about his future, but you’re not going to see him in the immediate future on the pitch.”

Content & Images from – Exeter Chiefs Rugby

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TEAM NEWS – Sale Sharks v Bath Rugby



South African talisman Rob du Preez is set to make his 100th Sharks appearance whilst Alex Groves is in line for his Gallagher Premiership debut as Alex Sanderson names his side to face Bath Rugby at the AJ Bell Stadium tomorrow night. (Kick-off 7:45pm – Live on BT Sport) 

Sanderson makes seven changes to the Sale starting line-up as his squad returns to Gallagher Premiership action following defeat at the hands of Ulster in the Champions Cup. 

In the forwards, there is a complete change of the Sharks front-row as Simon McIntyre, Tommy Taylor and Nick Schonert all return to face Bath.  

Cobus Wiese links back up with Josh Beaumont in the second row following a one-match suspension for a dangerous tackle in the Sharks’ clash with Toulouse two weeks ago. 

Jono Ross captains the side in the absence of Ben Curry, whilst Sam Dugdale steps in to replace the flanker after his England call up to Steve Borthwick’s England squad. Jean-Luc du Preez retains the number 8 shirt with twin-brother Dan remaining on the side lines due to an ongoing hand injury. 

Gus Warr continues to provide a platform for success at scrum-half and links up with centurion Rob du Preez, who is named at fly-half. 

The ever-present Sam James retains the thirteen shirt with Ryan Mills picked at inside centre in the absence of Manu Tuilagi. The former Wasps centre is one of two changes in the Sharks’ back line. 

Sanderson’s second change in the backs comes in the form of Tom Roebuck, who replaces Arron Reed on the wing after an impressive cameo in the Champions Cup. Tom O’Flaherty is named on the other wing, with exciting academy graduate Joe Carpenter at full-back. 

On the bench, Ewan Ashman, Ross Harrison and Joe Jones are named as front-row replacements, with Alex Groves and Rouban Birch providing further cover for the forwards. Raffi Quirke, Luke James and Arron Reed cover the backs. 

Sale Sharks Starting XV: 

15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Ryan Mills, 11. Tom O’Flaherty, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Simon McIntyre, 2. Tommy Taylor, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Josh Beaumont, 6. Jono Ross (c), 7. Sam Dugdale, 8. Jean-Luc du Preez 


16. Ewan Ashman, 17. Ross Harrison, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Alex Groves, 20. Rouban Birch, 21. Raffi Quirke, 22. Luke James, 23. Arron Reed 

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby

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Rogerson pens new contract with London Irish



London Irish is delighted to announce that Club captain Matt Rogerson has signed a new contract with the Club.

The 29-year-old has continued to be a bedrock of Irish’s back-row this year with one more try added to his total haul of 14 in five seasons as an Exile.

Rogerson recently exceeded the 100-appearance milestone as a London Irish player, making a century of appearances in a 39-17 Gallagher Premiership victory against Newcastle Falcons at the Gtech Community Stadium in December 2022.

Speaking on extending his time with London Irish, Matt Rogerson explained his decision to continue his career with the west Londoners.

“Today is a great day for me personally and for my family. I recently played in my 100th game for the Club, which was an incredibly emotional occasion, but one I will remember fondly for years to come.

“Working with such a talented pool of players every day is inspiring to me, having the opportunity to lead them alongside Rob, Paddy and Adam is a great privilege that is not lost on me.

“I can’t thank the supporters enough for embracing me in recent years, and hopefully, many more milestones are ahead for me here being part of the London Irish family.”

The skipper, in his second full season captaining the Boys in Green, signed from Jersey Reds upon conclusion of the 2017/18 season to then contribute to his new Club’s promotion bid in the following campaign.

London Irish Director of Rugby Declan Kidney affirmed his praise of Rogerson as a “true leader” of the team.

“We are delighted to have Matt continue in our ranks going forward. Matt is the consummate professional, on and off the pitch, he sets very high standards for himself and leads by example, always giving 100% to the team and squad, be it in a match, training or off pitch duties.

“As a true leader through these last few years, he has and continues to be an example that all other players and staff can look up to. We would like to thank Matt and his family for his continued commitment to London Irish.”

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Content & Images from – London Irish Rugby

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