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100 up for Hammersley
Simon Hammersley makes his 100th appearance for Newcastle Falcons on Saturday when they travel to take on Wasps in Gallagher Premiership action. The 25-year-old full-back is the top ball-carrier in this season’s Premiership and forms part of a team showing just one change from the one which defeated Worcester Warriors last weekend, a minor calf injury ruling out Scotland centre Chris Harris. Josh Matavesi comes in at inside centre, Johnny Williams pushing out one place in a squad which sees Canadian international Evan Olmstead on the bench after re-joining the Falcons from Auckland.
Testimonial season for Tait
Double centurion Alex Tait has been awarded a testimonial season after more than a decade at Newcastle Falcons. The versatile back sits seventh in the Falcons’ list of all-time appearances on a total of 232, scoring a hat-trick on his debut back in 2008 and going on to become a first team regular.
Richards rues semi-final exit
Director of rugby Dean Richards admitted it was a game of two halves as Newcastle Falcons suffered a 59-33 Premiership Rugby Cup semi-final defeat at Northampton Saints on Saturday. The Falcons flew out of the blocks and led 21-0, then 28-7, before suffering a second-half deluge against a Saints side who had lost the last five meetings between the two clubs.
Ian Smith's Six Nations - Part 2
The eve of the first game of the 2019 Six Nations competition seems a fitting time to muse over the development of the competition as we know it today. In Part 2, we pick up where the competition convened after the end of WW2, and this was probably the true birth of the Six Nations as it has become today. It is too easy to imagine that all of this history was destined to get us to where we are today, as if today was the end point, but in reality, 2019 is just another year, and the game will move on, so that one day, 2019 will just be another year in history. Let's hope it is a memorable year for all the right reasons.
Ian Smith's Six Nations - Part 1
The 2019 Guinness Six Nations officially kicks off tomorrow with the official launch & the build-up to the first game on Friday 1st Feb, France v Wales. Ian Smith, best known as the commentator for our games on BBC Radio Newcastle, a veteran of more than 500 Falcons games, reviews the origins of the competition, where it is today, and what it may become with the passing of time.
Nagusa back to face Toulon
Fiji No 8 Nemani Nagusa returns to Newcastle Falcons’ side for Friday’s Heineken Champions Cup visit of French club RC Toulon to Kingston Park Stadium (kick-off 7.45pm). The summer signing started in the Falcons’ last two victories over Bath and Northampton but left the field early into the Champions Cup defeat against Edinburgh, Nagusa being joined by fit-again winger Sinoti Sinoti for the final group-stage clash. The Falcons make just one further change as fit-again hooker George McGuigan comes in for Kyle Cooper, while positional switches see Tom Arscott moving from wing to full-back, Gary Graham sliding from blind-side to open-side and Ryan Burrows moving from No 8 to blind-side.
Rugby, as seen by Bertie Wooster.
This sort of has a Christmas theme, is about rugby, and should keep the message board alive for a couple of weeks. It might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but I hope some of you find it bloody funny. Have a good Christmas.
Team news v Gloucester Sun 23rd Dec - Matavesi Returns
Josh Matavesi returns from a three-and-a-half-month injury lay-off as Newcastle Falcons host Gloucester in Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership clash at Kingston Park Stadium. The Fijian international was a mainstay of the side which reached three semi-finals last season but suffered an ankle injury in the second game of the current campaign, Matavesi replacing the injured Johnny Williams in a team showing five changes from the one which hosted Edinburgh last weekend. Alex Tait replaces the injured Sinoti Sinoti on the left wing, Samoan international Logovi’i Mulipola returning to fitness to start at tight-head prop. Calum Green is back having been a late withdrawal last weekend, Gary Graham coming into a rejigged back row with the injured Nemani Nagusa missing out.
Team news: Falcons name side to face Edinburgh
Ryan Burrows captains Newcastle Falcons against Edinburgh in the Scottish capital on Friday night as they aim to build on their position at the top of Heineken Champions Cup pool five. The Falcons have won both of their group games in Europe’s top-tier competition after defeating Toulon and Montpellier, Friday’s trip to BT Murrayfield coming in a run which has seen just one defeat in their last eight matches in all competitions. Adam Radwan starts on the left wing after being the top try-scorer in last season’s European Challenge Cup, centre Chris Harris featuring at the venue where he played two of Scotland’s autumn internationals. Brett Connon starts at fly-half having landed a long-range penalty in an impressive cameo from the bench during last weekend’s victory at Northampton, Tonga captain Sonatane Takulua partnering him in the half-backs. Adam Brocklebank and George McGuigan come into the front row after impressing from the bench last weekend, Fiji lock Tevita Cavubati drafted in less than a fortnight after starting for his national team in their historic victory over France. Gary Graham returns to Murrayfield having trained there with the Scotland squad during their recent autumn tests, Callum Chick starting at No 8 having scored the dramatic winning try during the Falcons’ Champions Cup victory over Montpellier.
Mark Wilson as if you needed to know
This is some basic info about the man Back-row Mark Wilson joined the Falcons full-time in the summer of 2010. A former student at Northumbria University, Cumbrian Wilson played his first rugby for local club Kendal, before making the move across the Pennines. A captain of England Students in the 2009-10 season, Wilson made three appearances for the Falcons that season in the LV= Cup, having been loaned from Blaydon. After a fantastic first full season at Kingston Park in which he made 29 appearances, the South Cumbrian won the Academy Player of the Season award.In July 2016, Wilson signed a four-year deal with Newcastle Falcons, committing to the side until the 2019-20 season.In May 2017 he was invited to a training camp with the senior England squad by Eddie Jones and made his debut in the 1st summer test against Argentina.As of the 2018/2019 Champions Cup, Wilson has had 34 European Cups appearances scoring 10 tries. source https://www.ultimaterugby.com/mark-wilson