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Team news: Two changes for Tigers trip



George Wacokecoke comes in at outside centre

Friday 16 September 2022

Newcastle Falcons have made two changes to their team for Saturday’s trip to Gallagher Premiership champions Leicester Tigers.

George Wacokecoke starts at outside centre for the 3pm kick-off at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, with fit-again Carl Fearns coming in at No 8.

That change sees Sean Robinson pushing forward from the back row to the second row, with the Falcons travelling to Leicester for the second time in three weeks after scoring four tries in a 42-28 pre-season defeat on August 26.

Back-rower Connor Collett takes up a place on the bench having overcome injury, while Argentina wing Mateo Carreras is also among the replacements after returning from Rugby Championship duty in New Zealand.

Selecting a starting XV containing 14 English-qualified players, 10 of whom have had an association with the Falcons’ academy, head coach Dave Walder believes his side can kick on after starting their season with an attacking bonus point from their home loss against Harlequins.

“We were never in control of the game last weekend but we did pretty well to score five tries against a good side, and ultimately come away with a bonus point,” he said, referencing the 40-31 defeat.

“Of course we’re disappointed with the way we lost it, having battled back so well to take the lead, but the attitude from the boys was great and there’s lots we can build on.

“This weekend will be a different kind of challenge in terms of how Leicester play compared to Harlequins, but for how we approach our own game there won’t be a massive change. We’ll stick to what we’re about, and we’re building and implementing a few things which will take a little time to really bed in.”

Preparing to face a Tigers side who kicked the ball more than any other team last weekend, Walder said: “Leicester are obviously the champions and are committed to a certain style of playing, and they’ve had success from it, so I can’t see them changing.

“We know what’s coming and have got to make sure we deal with it, but at the same time we’ll throw a few things of our own at them.”

Facing a fixture load which sees his side playing seven games in the month of September, Walder added: “We’ve got three away games in the space of eight days so it’s a challenging time for us, and we could do with a few bodies back.

“We might have to bring in a couple of lads to help with the couple of midweek cup games we have coming up, but Leicester on Saturday is the prime focus and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Saturday’s game is being live-streamed on PRTV live.

Click here to buy your stream for £4.99.

Newcastle Falcons team to face Leicester Tigers (Saturday, 3pm, Mattioli Woods Welford Road)

15 Alex Tait, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Pete Lucock, 11 Nathan Earle, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Josh Barton; 1 Phil Brantingham, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Trevor Davison, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sean Robinson, 6 Will Welch (captain), 7 Jamie Blamire, 8 Carl Fearns.

Replacements: 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Conrad Cade, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Sebastian de Chaves, 20 Connor Collett, 21 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Mateo Carreras.

Not available for selection: Adam Brocklebank, Callum Chick, Luke Coulston, Matthew Dalton, Matt Deehan, Gary Graham, Matias Moroni, Logovi’i Mulipola, Chidera Obonna, Matias Orlando, Tom Penny, Guy Pepper, Vereimi Qorowale, Charlie Smith, Sam Stuart, Philip van der Walt, Michael Young.

Leicester Tigers: 15 Chris Ashton, 14 Harry Potter, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Guy Porter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 James Cronin, 2 Charlie Clare, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Harry Wells, 5 Calum Green, 6 George Martin, 7 Ollie Chessum, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (captain).

Replacements: 16 Joe Taufete’e, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Olly Cracknell, 20 Tommy Reffell, 21 Jack van Poortvliet, 22 Phil Cokanasiga, 23 Kini Murimurivalu.

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys.

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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