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Team news: Side for Tuesday Cup clash



Monday 26 September 2022

Louie Johnson starts at full-back for Newcastle Falcons on Tuesday night as they continue their Premiership Rugby Cup campaign at home to Sale Sharks.

The 7.45pm kick-off at Kingston Park Stadium sees five personnel changes from the side which was beaten 35-21 in the opening round at Wasps – Newcastle once again rotating their resources in a block which sees them playing five games in 13 days.

Former Saracen Elliott Obatoyinbo moves to the right wing in his second game since signing a short-term contract, Iwan Stephens starting on the other wing after scoring with the final play at Wasps.

England Under-20s hooker Ollie Fletcher makes his first start for the Falcons after coming on from the bench in their last cup outing, while Matthew Dalton packs down at second row after a summer which has seen him playing club rugby in Australia.

Newcastle University flanker George Bennett-Teare is one of four guest players in the match-day squad, being joined by fellow Newcastle students Rory Ward and Oliver Melville plus Northumbria University’s Will Hopes.

On the bench there could be a debut for 18-year-old prop Mike Rewcastle, with 13 current or former Falcons academy players selected in the match-day 23.

Newcastle Falcons head coach Dave Walder said: “This is a great opportunity for this group of players to go out there and show us what they can do in a proper match scenario.

“Playing three away games in the space of eight days has really tested our playing resources, and with our Gallagher Premiership game against Bristol being on Friday night this week we are again being pushed to the limit with such a short turnaround.

“But there is a lot of attacking ability within this group, it’s a wonderful chance for them to put in a big performance in front of our home crowd and really push their case for selection on a longer-term basis.”

Tuesday’s game is not being shown on TV or live stream, so being there in person is the only way to see all the action.

Click here to book your tickets, or click here to view our ticket bundles including entry into Friday’s Premiership visit of Bristol Bears.

Newcastle Falcons team to face Sale Sharks (Tuesday, 7.45pm, Kingston Park Stadium)

15 Louie Johnson, 14 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 13 Zach Kerr (captain), 12 Ewan Greenlaw, 11 Iwan Stephens, 10 Josh Thomas, 9 James Blackett; 1 Conrad Cade, 2 Ollie Fletcher, 3 Mark Tampin, 4 Matthew Dalton, 5 Josh Peters, 6 George Bennett-Teare, 7 Marcus Tiffen, 8 Matt Deehan.

Replacements: 16 Mark Dormer, 17 Mike Rewcastle, 18 Conor Kenny, 19 Rory Ward, 20 Will Hopes, 21 Ben Douglas, 22 Jeremy Civil, 23 Oliver Melville.

Not available for selection: Luke Coulston, Nathan Earle, Carl Fearns, Gary Graham, Pete Lucock, Matias Moroni, Logovi’i Mulipola, Chidera Obonna, Matias Orlando, Guy Pepper, Vereimi Qorowale, Charlie Smith, Philip van der Walt, Will Welch, Michael Young.

Sale Sharks: 15 Elliot Gourlay, 14 Byron McGuigan, 13 Joe Bedlow, 12 Tom Curtis, 11 Sammy Adu, 10 Kieran Wilkinson, 9 Nye Thomas; 1 Ben Carlile, 2 Ethan Caine, 3 Joe Jones, 4 Dom Barrow, 5 Alex Groves, 6 Matt Postlethwaite, 7 Sam Dugdale (captain), 8 Reuban Birch.

Replacements: 16 Harry Thompson, 17 Tumy Onasanya, 18 Cal Ford, 19 Ben Bamber, 20 Ewan Murphy, 21 Huw Davies, 22 Cal Morris, 23 Arron Pope.

Referee: Hamish Smales.


George Bennett-Teare: Back row, Newcastle University, 01/02/2002, 193cm, 110kg.

Will Hopes: Lock, Northumbria University, 20/7/2001, 194cm, 105kg.

Oliver Melville: Full-back, Newcastle University, 19/01/2002, 182ck, 87kg.

Rory Ward: Lock, Newcastle University, 01/03/2003, 196cm, 108kg.

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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