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- Aviva Premiership
- 21st Sep 2008
- KO 15:00
- Ground: Vicarage Road
- Att: 8,139
Saracens v Falcons: Teams
At Vicarage Road, Sunday September 21, KO 3pm
Newcastle have made three changes from their previous match as they travel to Vicarage Road to take on Saracens on Sunday.
Micky Ward comes in to the side at loosehead prop as the Falcons look to build on last weekend's 32-22 victory over Northampton, with Joe McDonnell ruled out by a pelvis injury.
In the second row Andy Perry takes the place of Andy Buist, who missed much of this week's training with a dislocated thumb, while Tom May returns to the team after a back spasm ruled him out of last Sunday's encounter.
Head coach Steve Bates wants his side to learn from their mistakes against Northampton and put that into practice on Sunday.
"It was a good result and something we felt we were capable of doing, but there were lots of areas for improvement which we have been working on during this week," he said.
"We were a bit concerned about some of our decision making at the back and the execution of our kicking game from that area, which was nowhere near as precise as we would like.
"But in the second half we played a much more sensible tactical game which we will be looking to repeat down at Vicarage Road."
Meanwhile, Saracens director of rugby Eddie Jones has named an unchanged team.
It will be Saracens first outing of the season at Vicarage Road and it's a match that Jones is looking forward to as well as coming up against the fit-again Jonny Wilkinson having coached against him many times on the international scene.
"I've got a tremendous amount of respect for Jonny Wilkinson and it's good to see him back playing rugby again," said Jones.
"He's a very important player and when he plays well, Newcastle play well. He is one of the most dedicated and professional players we have seen and he is still the predominant number ten in England.
"But to play well he needs his forward pack to give him good ball and the challenge for us on Sunday will be to compete up front and stop them doing that."
Jones has selected the same 22 that lost to a last second Charlie Hodgson drop goal at Sale Sharks last Friday and despite the defeat, he was pleased with the display.
"It's a reflection of the performance at Sale that we've not made any changes this week," he explained.
"The commitment and effort they showed was first class - even if the result was second class. If we continue to develop and work as hard as that, the results will come."
The game also sees a first outing for Saracens and England captain Steve Borthwick at Vicarage Road with former Wales captain Michael Owen also getting a home debut.
"It's going to be a proud moment for me to lead the team out at Vicarage Road for the first time," explained Borthwick.
"All of the players have been looking forward to playing at home for the first time and there is a real sense of anticipation around the squad.
"It's going to be a very tough game and Newcastle proved last week against Northampton that if you give them opportunities, they will score points. That is something we will have to work very hard at stopping."
Saracens: 15 Richard Haughton, 14 Rodd Penney, 13 Kevin Sorrell, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Kameli Ratuvou, 10 Glen Jackson, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Michael Owen, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Chris Jack, 5 Hugh Vyvyan, 4 Steve Borthwick, 3 Cencus Johnston, 2 Fabio Ongaro,1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Matt Cairns, 17 Cobus Visagie, 18 Kris Chesney, 19 Ben Skirving, 20 Moses Rauluni, 21 Gordon Ross, 22 Chris Wyles.
Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Tom May, 13 Jamie Noon, 12 Spencer Davey, 11 John Rudd, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 James Grindal, 8 Phil Dowson (c), 7 Ed Williamson, 6 Adam Balding, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Andy Perry, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Andy Long, 1 Micky Ward.
Replacements: 16 Matt Thompson, 17 Jon Golding, 18 Tim Swinson, 19 Andy Buist, 20 Hall Charlton, 21 Ollie Phillips, 22 Rory Clegg.
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|Friday 13th February|
|19:45||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|19:45||Northampton vs London Irish|
|Saturday 14th February|
|16:30||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 15th February|
|13:00||Saracens vs Bath|
|14:00||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Sale|
|Friday 20th February|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Wasps|
|Saturday 21st February|
|14:00||Sale vs Saracens|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Exeter|
|15:00||Gloucester vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Bath vs Northampton|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|14:00||London Irish vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Leicester vs Sale|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Leicester|
|Saturday 28th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
|Sunday 4th January|
|London Welsh 13 - 24 Harlequins|
|Wasps 41 - 16 Sale Sharks|
|Leicester 17 - 8 Bath|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|Exeter 25 - 26 Gloucester|
|Saracens 22 - 6 London Irish|
|Friday 2nd January|
|Northampton 39 - 31 Newcastle|
|Sunday 28th December|
|Gloucester 23 - 30 Wasps|
|Saturday 27th December|
|Harlequins 25 - 30 Northampton|
|Newcastle 23 - 25 Saracens|
|Bath 31 - 14 Exeter|
|Sale Sharks 30 - 32 Leicester|
|Friday 26th December|
|London Irish 24 - 9 London Welsh|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Wasps 48 - 16 London Irish|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Gloucester 16 - 39 Bath|
|Northampton 23 - 19 Leicester|
|Saracens 78 - 7 London Welsh|
|Harlequins 15 - 7 Newcastle|
|Friday 19th December|
|Sale 18 - 11 Exeter|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com