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Team news: Falcons side to face Leicester Tigers



Friday 6 January 2023

Adam Radwan and Matias Moroni come in for Newcastle Falcons on Saturday when they host Gallagher Premiership champions Leicester Tigers at Kingston Park Stadium.

Radwan starts on the right wing for the 2pm kick-off, with Moroni lining up against the club for whom he started in last season’s victorious Premiership final.

He partners fellow Argentina international Matias Orlando, re-forming the same midfield pairing which started in Los Pumas’ historic test victory away to New Zealand at the start of the season.

Tom Penny continues to captain the Falcons but switches from centre to full-back, having scored two tries away to Northampton the last time he played with No.15 on his back.

Brett Connon is at fly-half after missing just one kick at goal in his last five league outings, with the Falcons aiming to push on from their last home game – a 20-14 triumph against high-flying Sale Sharks on December 23.

On the bench there is a return for hooker Charlie Maddison following the end of his suspension, with Tian Schoeman back from illness.

Looking forward to the game, head coach Dave Walder is well aware of the ways in which Leicester will test his Falcons side.

He said: “Statistically, the games Leicester have won and lost have defined by the territorial battle and the gain line, and we’ve spoken about that.

“Last week Sale Sharks gave a pretty good example of how you need to play against them – Sale were outstanding in what they did – but we know Leicester will be a wounded animal from that.

“We’ve got a good idea of what we need to do, the key is going to be are we able to execute it?”

With Newcastle scoring more first-phase tries this season than most teams in the division, Walder said: “Last year we scored more tries from counter-attack, and it seems like sides have taken notice of that and given us more line-outs, so we’re now starting to see more line-out scores.

“A lot of our first-phase tries have been scored from our maul, which Micky Ward and Scott MacLeod have got well-drilled, and it also creates opportunities around it when defenders get sucked in.

“We’re always looking at ways to score more tries and we’re conscious of the need to do that – whether it’s from one phase or from 27. We’re always looking at ways to get the ball into the hands of runners like Mateo Carreras and Adam Radwan, and our outside backs are absolutely lethal when we get them good ball.

“I hate using the word ‘brave’, because moving the ball wide isn’t brave if that’s where the space is.

“That’s just smart rugby, and part of our problem this season has been that we’re moving the ball to the space probably a phase later than we should have been. So the ball is getting there, but we’re up against a more organised defensive line with plenty of numbers, and we just need to be sharper in not having that extra carry or that extra phase when there’s space on the width.

“We’ve maybe gone into our shell a little bit in certain respects before we move the ball, and we just need to get that balance of moving the ball to the right place at the right time. It’s not a forwards versus backs thing – it’s just guys seeing the space, calling it in and making it happen.”

With the BT Sport cameras in town for only the second time this season, Walder insists he and his players are determined to seize the chance to showcase the club.

“It’s a massive opportunity for us to show a wider audience what we’re about, and we always love being on TV,” said the former England fly-half.

“It’s a shame we’re not on TV more, and there’s a feeling around the club that we get ignored a bit in terms of how few times we get picked for televised matches compared to other clubs.

“First and foremost of course you want people inside the stadium and enjoying the game in person, but for the guys who can’t get here or for your away matches, absolutely you want to have that exposure of being on BT Sport.

“We want people to see what we’ve got going on and what we’re building as a team, and it’s important for us as a club to start getting our fair share of the TV picks.”

Click here to buy tickets for Saturday’s game.

Newcastle Falcons team v Leicester Tigers (Saturday, 2pm, Kingston Park Stadium, live on BT Sport).

15 Tom Penny (captain), 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Matias Orlando, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Sam Stuart; 1 Adam Brocklebank, 2 Jamie Blamire, 3 Trevor Davison, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Gary Graham, 7 Callum Chick, 8 Carl Fearns.

Replacements: 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Matthew Dalton, 20 Tom Marshall, 21 Michael Young, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Elliott Obatoyinbo.

Not available for selection: Sam Clark, Connor Collett, Matt Deehan, Freddie Lockwood, Pete Lucock, Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, Guy Pepper, Josh Peters, Sean Robinson, Oliver Spencer, George Wacokecoke, Will Welch.

Leicester Tigers: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Harry Potter, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Dan Kelly, 11 Harry Simmons, 10 Charlie Atkinson, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 James Cronin, 2 Charlie Clare, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Harry Wells, 5 Calum Green, 6 Ollie Chessum, 7 Tommy Reffell, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (captain).

Replacements: 16 Joe Taufete’e, 17 Nephi Leatigaga, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Cameron Henderson, 20 Emeka Ilione, 21 Sean Jansen, 22 Jack van Poortvliet, 23 Jimmy Gopperth.

Referee: Tom Foley.

Source – Newcastle Falcons Rugby





Sale Sharks have agreed a deal to sign Fiji captain Waisea Nayacalevu from French Top14 side Toulon. 

The explosive centre, who starred for his country during the recent World Cup, has signed a one-year contract with an option for a further year. 

He will join up with Alex Sanderson’s Sharks squad ahead of the start of the 2024/25 Gallagher Premiership season. 

Waisea, 33, said: “I’ve watched the Premiership for a long time and it’s always been in the back of my mind that I would love to play there one day and experience rugby in England. 

“Now that opportunity has arrived and I’m really, really happy and grateful. I’m so excited to get over there and join the boys and see how I can contribute to the team. 

“I have spoken to Telusa Veainu and he only has positive things to say about the club and about Manchester. 

“I’m looking forward to playing with some of the guys I’ve played against, like Tom Curry and George Ford. But I also know there are a lot of really talented young players in the Sale Sharks squad and I’m excited to share my experience and help them develop as much as I can.  

“I told Alex that it’s what I’ve been doing for the last few years of my career and it’s something I’m passionate about.” 

Nayacalevu, who stands at 6’4” and weighs in at 16st 7lb, spent ten years at Top14 side Stade Français before making the switch to Toulon in 2022.  

He has won 34 caps for Fiji, slotting in at both centre and on the wing, and captained his country at last year’s World Cup, where the Pacific Islanders made the quarter-finals, losing 30-24 to England in Marseille. 

He also famously scored for Fiji in their memorable pre-World Cup win against England at Twickenham. 

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby

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Falcons star to join Saracens



Phil Brantingham to join Saracens

Tuesday 05 March 2024 Written by: Tom Grisedale

Prop-forward Phil Brantingham will leave Newcastle Falcons in the summer to join Saracens.

The 22-year-old has played 25 games for his home town club, and leaves with the thanks and best wishes of everyone at the Falcons.

Chairman of rugby Matt Thompson said: “Phil has done well for us and we made him a good offer to stay here.

“We respect his decision and wish him all the best for his move in the summer, but between now and then he will be fully committed to finishing the season strongly for Newcastle Falcons.”

Source – Newcastle Falcons Rugby

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Sale Sharks can confirm that forward Cobus Wiese will leave the club at the end of the season to return to South Africa. 

The 26-year-old lock has played almost 80 games for the club and scored five tries since joining from the DHL Stormers ahead of the 2020/21 season. 

He played a key role last year as Sale reached the Premiership final, and this season he has featured a further 13 times for Alex Sanderson’s side. 

Alex said: “Cobus will be missed by all of us on so many levels. He’s the most polite and courteous of people off the field, but the most wildly excitable man on the field, and on a night out. 

“To say Cobus wears his heart on his sleeve is to do him a disservice with regards to his emotional commitment for which his body has paid the price on occasion.  

“He leads by example and has earnt the respect and adoration of the group both on a professional and a personal level. We wish him every success and happiness with his move back home.” 

Everyone at Sale Sharks would like to thank Cobus for his contribution to the club and the team during his time here and we wish him all the very best for the future.  

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby

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