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Newcastle Falcons have handed a starting debut to new signing Tane Tu'ipulotu for the visit of London Irish to Kingston Park on Sunday.
The Tongan arrival makes his Falcons bow after helping Wellington Lions to Ranfurly Shield glory and the final of the Air New Zealand Cup last month, with the 27-year-old Junior All Black starting at inside centre.
Elsewhere in the side there are only two further changes from the team which lost by just one point to Gloucester in their last outing, with Andy Long replacing Rob Vickers at hooker and an ankle injury seeing Rory Clegg come in for Rob Miller at fly half.
"Tane has been here two weeks now, and the initial impressions are all very good ones," head coach Steve Bates said.
"I think people have to be patient because it will certainly take him time to get used to the Guinness Premiership and to playing with a totally new team, but that process starts this weekend.
"Before he even arrived in England he had downloaded and watched all of our games over the internet, so he's up to speed in that regard and aware of what game we are trying to play.
"What I have seen from him in training has backed up everything we thought when we were looking to sign him, and he has shown himself to be an extremely talented footballer. He links up well, brings other people in to play and I've been really impressed with his communication.
"Having that experience is important especially with a young fly half, and the partnership between him and Rory Clegg looks like being a good one based on what we have seen on the training field so far."
International commitments mean that London Irish make five personnel and one positional change to the starting line-up of the team that defeated the Ospreys a fortnight ago.
Among the backs Shane Geraghty switches to inside centre to allow Mike Catt to start at fly-half whilst James Bailey comes in on the left wing.
In the pack there is a new combination in the second row where Kieran Roche and Nick Kennedy start together for the first time this season. Declan Danaher comes into the team at open side flanker.
"We return to the serious business of the Guinness Premiership this week with a difficult away fixture in Newcastle," said Irish head coach Toby Booth.
"We want to take the positive momentum of recent weeks into the next rounds of the Premiership and European Challenge Cup."
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Steve Jones, 14 Danny Williams, 13 Tom May, 12 Tane Tu'ipulotu, 11 John Rudd, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Hall Charlton; 8 Phil Dowson (c), 7 Brent Wilson, 6 Ed Williamson, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Micky Ward, 2 Andy Long, 1 Jon Golding.
Replacements: 16 Rob Vickers, 17 David Wilson, 18 Ross Beattie, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Tom Dillon, 21 James Grindal, 22 Spencer Davey.
London Irish: 15 Peter Hewat, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Elvis Seveali'i, 12 Shane Geraghty, 11 James Bailey, 10 Mike Catt, (c) 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Chris Hala'Ufia, 7 Declan Danaher, 6 Richard Thorpe, 5 Kieran Roche, 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Faan Rautenbach, 2 David Paice, 1 Clarke Dermody.
Replacements: 16 Tonga Lea'aetoa, 17 James Buckland, 18 Alex Corbisiero, 19 Gary Johnson, 20 Steffon Armitage, 21 Alfredo Lalanne, 22 Charlie Gower.
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|Friday 20th December|
|20:00||Sale Sharks vs London Irish|
|Saturday 21st December|
|15:00||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Bath vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th December|
|TBC||Newcastle vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th December|
|15:00||Northampton vs Bath|
|15:00||Worcester vs Saracens|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Exeter|
|15:00||Leicester vs Sale Sharks|
|Friday 3rd January|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Sale Sharks|
|Saturday 4th January|
|15:00||London Irish vs Worcester|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Saracens|
|15:00||Leicester vs Bath|
|Sunday 5th January|
|15:00||Wasps vs Exeter|
|Friday 7th February|
|19:45||Worcester vs Leicester|
|20:00||Sale Sharks vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 8th February|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||Bath vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|Sunday 9th February|
|15:00||Saracens vs London Irish|
|Friday 14th February|
|20:00||Sale Sharks vs Saracens|
|Saturday 15th February|
|15:00||Wasps vs London Irish|
|15:00||Northampton vs Worcester|
|15:00||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|Sunday 1st December|
|Newcastle 9 - 35 Harlequins|
|Saturday 30th November|
|Bath 21 - 16 Exeter|
|Worcester 10 - 33 Northampton|
|London Irish 12 - 19 Wasps|
|Saracens 24 - 19 Sale Sharks|
|Friday 29th November|
|Gloucester 17 - 22 Leicester|
|Sunday 24th November|
|Wasps 5 - 28 Bath|
|Saturday 23rd November|
|Northampton 18 - 0 Newcastle|
|Harlequins 27 - 19 Gloucester|
|Exeter 9 - 16 Saracens|
|Leicester 20 - 11 London Irish|
|Friday 22nd November|
|Sale Sharks 26 - 10 Worcester|
|Sunday 3rd November|
|Saracens 40 - 3 Newcastle|
|London Irish 14 - 19 Northampton|
|Saturday 2nd November|
|Leicester 16 - 23 Harlequins|
|Gloucester 30 - 32 Wasps|
|Friday 1st November|
|Sale Sharks 16 - 18 Exeter|
|Worcester 6 - 21 Bath|
|Sunday 27th October|
|Newcastle 13 - 11 London Irish|
|Wasps 22 - 12 Leicester|
|Saturday 26th October|
|Northampton 41 - 20 Saracens|
|Exeter 40 - 6 Worcester|
|Harlequins 24 - 3 Sale Sharks|
|Friday 25th October|
|Bath 15 - 13 Gloucester|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Stuart Barnes with skysports.com