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Falcons v L Irish: Teams

At Kingston Park, Sunday November 16, kick-off 3pm

Last updated: 14th November 2008   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Falcons v L Irish: Teams

Tu'ipulotu: Set for Falcons debut

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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.

Geraghty switch

"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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Aviva Premiership
Friday 14th November
Aviva Premiership
19:45Gloucester vs Harlequins
19:45Northampton vs Exeter
Saturday 15th November
14:00Sale vs London Irish
17:00Bath vs Newcastle
Sunday 16th November
13:00Leicester vs Saracens
15:15Wasps vs London Welsh
Friday 21st November
19:45Harlequins vs Sale
20:00Newcastle vs Gloucester
Saturday 22nd November
15:00London Irish vs Bath
15:00Exeter vs Wasps
Sunday 23rd November
13:00Saracens vs Northampton
15:15London Welsh vs Leicester
Friday 28th November
19:45Bath vs Harlequins
Saturday 29th November
15:00Leicester vs Wasps
16:30Exeter vs Saracens
Sunday 30th November
13:00London Irish vs Gloucester
14:30London Welsh vs Northampton
15:15Newcastle vs Sale
Saturday 20th December
14:00Sale vs Exeter
15:00Gloucester vs Bath
15:00Northampton vs Leicester
15:00Saracens vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle
Sunday 21st December
14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh

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