Thursday 24 November 2022
Argentina internationals Mateo Carreras and Matias Moroni are among the returning stars for Newcastle Falcons on Friday when they host Exeter Chiefs in Gallagher Premiership action.
The Pumas pair are joined by USA lock Greg Peterson in coming back from their international commitments, with the Falcons looking to kick on from the 27-21 away win they achieved on their last league outing at Gloucester.
Brett Connon continues at fly-half after kicking five from five in the Kingsholm clash, Ben Stevenson starting on the right wing. Carl Fearns returns from a knee injury to start at No.8, with scrum-half Michael Young once again captaining the side.
Sean Robinson and Adam Radwan are among the replacements following their midweek release from England’s training squad, with Matias Orlando also on the bench having played a full 80 minutes for Argentina against Scotland last Saturday.
Newcastle Falcons and Exeter Chiefs’ last two Gallagher Premiership meetings have been decided by just a single point with one win for each club, and head coach Dave Walder expects a physical evening against the Devon outfit.
“Exeter have big ball-carriers, they’re very physical and they like to play with tempo right from the start,” said the Falcons boss.
“They try to put you under pressure when they’ve got the ball in hand, and their backs try to exploit the wide channels off the back of that. It’s a keep-ball style of game, a bit different to how a lot of other Premiership teams play, but it’s a method which has been very successful for them.
“They’re a different team from when we beat them at their place this time last year, they’ve got a new defence coach whose playing style is more aggressive and confrontational, and they’ve gone back to that line-speed which they’d moved away from over the past year or so. They set up slightly differently, but they’re a formidable team and we’re excited about taking them on.”
Keen to take the positives from their away victory over Gloucester, Walder added: “It was an important win for us, more for the confidence of the group than anything else.
“It gave the boys the belief that the things they’re doing every day are pointing us in the right direction, and the most pleasing thing was the attitude.
“Obviously you never want to see four of your players in the sin bin, but the way we ended up winning the game by digging in with 13 men against arguably the top mauling team in the country was really pleasing. It was a good way to win a game in testing circumstances, and as I say our attitude was the number-one thing.
“We had a big focus during the week with Micky Ward and Scott MacLeod in terms of how we were going to defend Gloucester’s maul, and we spent a lot of time on that.
“After the game people kept saying that was Gloucester’s second-string back line, but in fairness it was pretty much their first-choice pack. We were missing quite a few players of our own in the backs so it’s just one of those things, and it was pleasing to see a few things coming off that we’d worked on during the week.
“Mark Laycock had picked a couple of holes in their defence which we were able to exploit with our attacking strategy, and when we found ourselves under pressure we had the resilience to close out the game. We’re excited now about taking that momentum into the Exeter match on Friday, and they’re another big, heavy pack who take the game to you.
“They’ve got a style of rugby which they’ve been renowned for over the years, albeit they’ve tweaked it a little bit recently. They play a power-based game and look after the ball very well, they’ve got some big ball-carriers in their pack and some quick, powerful backs. They’re a good team overall, and it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.”
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Newcastle Falcons team v Exeter Chiefs (Friday, 7.45pm, Kingston Park Stadium)
15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Ben Stevenson, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Tom Penny, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Michael Young (captain); 1 Logovi’i Mulipola, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Richard Palframan, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Callum Chick, 7 Guy Pepper, 8 Carl Fearns.
Replacements: 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Adam Brocklebank, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Sean Robinson, 20 Freddie Lockwood, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Adam Radwan, 23 Matias Orlando.
Not available for selection: Phil Brantingham, Sam Clark, Connor Collett, Trevor Davison, Gary Graham, Louie Johnson, Conor Kenny, Pete Lucock, Oliver Spencer, Philip van der Walt, George Wacokecoke, Will Welch.
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Josh Hodge, 14 Dan John, 13 Sean O’Brien, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Jack Maunder; 1 Alec Hepburn, 2 Jack Yeandle (captain), 3 Harry Williams, 4 Ruben Van Heerden, 5 Dafydd Jenkins, 6 Lewis Pearson, 7 Christ Tshiunza, 8 Jacques Vermeulen.
Replacements: 16 Dan Frost, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Patrick Schickerling, 19 Jack Dunne, 20 Dave Ewers, 21 Sam Maunder, 22 Will Becconsall, 23 Solomone Kata.
Referee: Karl Dickson.
Tom Wood to captain Barbarians for showdown with Saints
Northampton Saints legend Tom Wood will lead out Barbarian F.C. at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens for tomorrow afternoon’s clash between the two sides.The world-famous invitational side will lock horns with the men in Black, Green and Gold for the first time in history on Saturday (kick-off: 3pm), and with Saints close to full strength for the exhibition match, the BaaBaas have selected a side packed with star quality to run out in Northampton.Wood captains the team and lines up in the No.8 jersey alongside Cardiff Rugby flanker Olly Robinson and former Wasps back row Ben Morris.Elliott Stooke and Graham Kitchener – formerly of Wasps and Worcester Warriors respectively – are selected in the engine room, with an explosive front row including Scotland international Murray McCallum, All Black Hika Elliot, and Stormers tighthead Brok Harris.Former England international Danny Cipriani starts at fly-half, with Gareth Simpson in the No.9 jersey and Wales international Owen Williams filling a second playmaker role at inside centre.Outside the former Worcester player in midfield is another Saints legend in Luther Burrell, who runs out at the Gardens berth for one final appearance in the UK before making the switch to Japan.And the Barbarians’ back-three is full of pace and power with England’s Marland Yarde and Zach Kibirige set to start on the wings, with Wales international Jonah Holmes completing the line-up at fullback.A limited number of tickets remain for the fixture, starting from £22 adult / £8 junior*. PLEASE CLICK HERE to purchase now.BARBARIAN F.C. SIDE TO FACE NORTHAMPTON SAINTSSaturday 26 November 2022cinch Stadium at Franklin’s GardensKick-off: 3pm15 Jonah Holmes14 Zach Kibirige13 Luther Burrell12 Owen Williams11 Marland Yarde10 Danny Cipriani9 Gareth Simpson1 Murray McCallum2 Hika Elliot3 Brok Harris4 Graham Kitchener5 Elliott Stooke6 Ben Morris7 Olly Robinson8 Tom Wood (c)Replacements:16 Tevita Ikanivere17 Ben Harris18 Elliot Millar-Mills19 Lloyd Ashley20 Will Boyde21 Francois Hougaard22 Mali Hingano23 Perry Humphreys
Northampton Saints legend Tom Wood will lead out Barbarian F.C. at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens for tomorrow afternoon’s clash between the two sides.
The world-famous invitational side will lock horns with the men in Black, Green and Gold for the first time in history on Saturday (kick-off: 3pm), and with Saints close to full strength for the exhibition match, the BaaBaas have selected a side packed with star quality to run out in Northampton.
Wood captains the team and lines up in the No.8 jersey alongside Cardiff Rugby flanker Olly Robinson and former Wasps back row Ben Morris.
Elliott Stooke and Graham Kitchener – formerly of Wasps and Worcester Warriors respectively – are selected in the engine room, with an explosive front row including Scotland international Murray McCallum, All Black Hika Elliot, and Stormers tighthead Brok Harris.
Former England international Danny Cipriani starts at fly-half, with Gareth Simpson in the No.9 jersey and Wales international Owen Williams filling a second playmaker role at inside centre.
Outside the former Worcester player in midfield is another Saints legend in Luther Burrell, who runs out at the Gardens berth for one final appearance in the UK before making the switch to Japan.
And the Barbarians’ back-three is full of pace and power with England’s Marland Yarde and Zach Kibirige set to start on the wings, with Wales international Jonah Holmes completing the line-up at fullback.
A limited number of tickets remain for the fixture, starting from £22 adult / £8 junior*. PLEASE CLICK HERE to purchase now.
BARBARIAN F.C. SIDE TO FACE NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Saturday 26 November 2022
cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens
15 Jonah Holmes
14 Zach Kibirige
13 Luther Burrell
12 Owen Williams
11 Marland Yarde
10 Danny Cipriani
9 Gareth Simpson
1 Murray McCallum
2 Hika Elliot
3 Brok Harris
4 Graham Kitchener
5 Elliott Stooke
6 Ben Morris
7 Olly Robinson
8 Tom Wood (c)
16 Tevita Ikanivere
17 Ben Harris
18 Elliot Millar-Mills
19 Lloyd Ashley
20 Will Boyde
21 Francois Hougaard
22 Mali Hingano
23 Perry Humphreys
TEAM NEWS | Sale Sharks v Bristol Bears
Sam James makes his 200th Sharks appearance, Cobus Wiese and Akker van der Merwe return from injury and Rouban Birch and Kieran Wilkinson are rewarded for their cup heroics with places on the replacements bench for the Saturday lunchtime Premiership clash with Bristol Bears (KO 1pm – live on BT Sport).
Jean-Luc and Dan du Preez also return to the Sharks line-up after featuring for South Africa A, while Jono Ross captains the side for the round 11 showdown with Pat Lam’s men.
Springbok hooker Van der Merwe returns to the number two shirt after six weeks out with an ankle injury picked up against London Irish in October, and he takes his place in the front row between the experienced pair of Ross Harrison and Nick Schonert.
Wiese also returns from ankle lay-off to partner Josh Beaumont in the second row, while the Du Preez twins line-up alongside skipper Ross in the back row.
Gus Warr lines up again at scrum-half alongside fly-half Rob du Preez, and in the centres, Sam Hill starts with the ever-present Sam James, who plays his 200th game for his boyhood club.
Tom Roebuck and Byron McGuigan start on the wings, with full-back Joe Carpenter making up a pacy back three.
Academy products Tommy Taylor and fit-again Simon McIntyre provide front-row cover on the bench, along with Joe Jones, who will be playing his 50th Sharks game if he takes the field.
Sam Dugdale and Friday night’s Premiership Rugby Cup player of the match Birch cover the rest of the forwards.
Joe Simpson, Wilkinson and Arron Reed are the backs replacements.
Sale Sharks Starting XV:
15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Sam Hill, 11. Byron McGuigan, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Ross Harrison, 2. Akker van der Merwe, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Josh Beaumont, 6. JL du Preez, 7. Jono Ross ©, 8. Daniel du Preez
16. Tommy Taylor, 17. Simon McIntyre, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Rouban Birch, 20. Sam Dugdale, 21. Joe Simpson, 22. Kieran Wilkinson, 23. Arron Reed.
Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby
Falcons forward heads to France
Thursday 24 November 2022
Lock-forward George Merrick has left Newcastle Falcons to join a French club with immediate effect.
The 30-year-old has made 13 appearances since joining from Worcester Warriors in the summer of 2021, and leaves with the thanks and best wishes of the club.
Newcastle Falcons head coach Dave Walder said: “George has been offered an exciting playing opportunity over in France and we wish him all the best for his move.
“He has been a positive presence around our squad during his time here, and on behalf of the entire coaching team I’d like to thank him for his contribution.”
Merrick said: “I’ve loved my time in Newcastle with a great bunch of boys, and I’m looking forward now to this new challenge.”
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