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Aviva Premiership: Newcastle Falcons entertain London Wasps at Kingston Park
- Festive fancies
- Saturday's Aviva Prem preview
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- Bath too hot for Harlequins
- Sarries hunt down Tigers
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- Myler's boot takes down Wasps
- Exeter end losing run
Newcastle will be aiming to bounce back from four consecutive defeats when they host London Wasps in Friday's Aviva Premiership clash at Kingston Park.
The Falcons have won just three matches all season, while Wasps sit two spots and 10 points clear of their rivals in the standing.
Dean Richards has made four changes to his Falcons starting line-up for this crucial home clash.
A new centre pairing of Jamie Helleur and James Fitzpatrick will take to the field, with Helleur returning to the starting XV following a lengthy spell on the side line through injury.
The Samoan international had a half-hour cameo at Exeter Chiefs last weekend to get him in the mood for the visit of Dai Young's outfit.
Warren Fury starts at scrum-half alongside Phil Godman, and skipper Will Welch is Richards' fourth and final change as he replaces Andy Saull at openside flanker.
"I'm really looking forward to the game, and there's going to be a fantastic atmosphere at Kingston Park," said Richards.
"I hear ticket sales are going really well and we're expecting a bumper crowd so in that respect I can't wait.
"We've got a big week now with Wasps tomorrow and then Sale Sharks next week. We know they are going to be tough games, but all games in this league are competitive and we're raring to go."
Wasps boss Dai Young retains faith in the same XV that were edged out 17-15 by a last-gasp Stephen Myler penalty at home to Northampton Saints last week.
"The manner of the loss last weekend was tough for us to take, losing in the last play of the game is never going to be easy, but I was very proud of the way that our boys fronted up against a very powerful Northampton outfit," said Young.
"This Friday will provide a similar test; Newcastle are a very physical side who will pose us a number of threats up front as well as in the backline, which we must meet head on."
Newcastle Falcons: 15 A Tait, 14 N Cato, 13 J Helleur, 12 J Fitzpatrick, 11 R Shortland, 10 P Godman, 9 W Fury, 1 R Vickers, 2 S Lawson, 3 K Brookes, 4 C del Fava, 5 F McKenzie, 6 R Mayhew, 7 W Welch, 8 A Hogg.
Replacements: 16 G McGuigan 17 F Montanella, 18 O Tomaszczyk, 19 S Tomes, 20 M Wilson, 21 C Pilgrim, 22 R Clegg, 23 D Barnes.
London Wasps: 15 E Daly, 14 W Helu, 13 C Bell (c), 12 C Hayter, 11 T Varndell, 10 A Goode, 9 C Davies, 1 M Mullan, 2 C Festuccia, 3 J Cooper-Woolley, 4 T Palmer, 5 J Launchbury, 6 A Johnson, 7 J Haskell, 8 S Jones.
Replacements: 16 T Lindsay, 17 T Vea, 18 P Swainston, 19 J Cannon, 20 E Jackson, 21 J Simpson, 22 J Carlisle, 23 A Suniula.
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|Sunday 21st December|
|14:00||Wasps vs London Irish|
|Friday 26th December|
|15:00||London Irish vs London Welsh|
|Saturday 27th December|
|14:00||Bath vs Exeter|
|14:00||Sale vs Leicester|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Saracens|
|16:30||Harlequins vs Northampton|
|Sunday 28th December|
|14:30||Gloucester vs Wasps|
|Friday 2nd January|
|19:45||Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Saracens vs London Irish|
|16:30||Exeter vs Gloucester|
|Sunday 4th January|
|14:00||Wasps vs Sale|
|14:00||Leicester Tigers vs Bath|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Harlequins|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Saracens|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:00||Sale vs Northampton|
|15:00||Bath vs Wasps|
|15:15||Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh|
|15:00||London Irish vs Exeter|
|Saturday 14th February|
|15:00||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Northampton vs London Irish|
|15:00||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 15th February|
|14:00||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Sale|
|15:00||Saracens vs Bath|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Gloucester 16 - 39 Bath|
|Northampton 23 - 19 Leicester Tigers|
|Saracens 78 - 7 London Welsh|
|Harlequins 15 - 7 Newcastle Falcons|
|Friday 19th December|
|Sale Sharks 18 - 11 Exeter|
|Sunday 30th November|
|Newcastle Falcons 13 - 18 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 14 - 43 Northampton|
|London Irish 9 - 21 Gloucester|
|Saturday 29th November|
|Exeter 27 - 19 Saracens|
|Leicester Tigers 18 - 16 Wasps|
|Friday 28th November|
|Bath 25 - 6 Harlequins|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester Tigers|
|Saracens 24 - 31 Northampton|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|London Irish 23 - 33 Bath|
|Exeter 31 - 15 Wasps|
|Friday 21st November|
|Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 Gloucester|
|Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale Sharks|
|Sunday 16th November|
|Wasps 71 - 7 London Welsh|
|Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 Saracens|
|Saturday 15th November|
|Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle Falcons|
|Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London Irish|
|Friday 14th November|
|Gloucester 15 - 22 Harlequins|
|Northampton 18 - 24 Exeter|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com