Newcastle Falcons have named a side showing two changes from the Aviva Premiership round five draw at Sale Sharks, as league leaders and defending champions Saracens travel to the North East on Sunday.
Showing a tenacious resolve in the wind and rain at the AJ Bell Stadium, the Falcons come into the game knowing that performance will be required again against a side yet to lose a game this season.
Both changes come in the backline as Belisario Agulla and Tom Catterick come in for Giamba Venditti and Mike Delany respectively.
In what will be his first Premiership start, Agulla will be looking to harness the exciting form displayed in the European Challenge Cup against Brive and in the Aviva A League against Northampton and Worcester, as he continues to integrate well into the Kingston Park environment.
With Mike Delany out after leaving the field through injury last weekend, Tom Catterick makes his 46th Aviva Premiership start, continuing his ever presence in the match day 23 in season 2015/16 and resuming the orchestration of the side he performed against Brive and Enisei in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.
Remaining in situ from round five, Alex Tait will again don the number 15 jersey following an assured display at fullback, Adam Powell and Juan Pablo Socino continue in the centres as Marcus Watson retains his starting spot on the left wing, while Michael Young continues to provide service from scrum half.
The pack that did so well in a traditional forward game in Salford is rewarded by remaining completely unchanged, with try scorers Rob Vickers and Jon Welsh packing down alongside George McGuigan in a front row that put in a full eighty minute shift last week.
Calum Green and Sean Robinson line up in the second while Mark Wilson, Will Welch and Nili Latu complete the scrum’s back row
The replacements bench also remains largely as it was in round five, with the only changes seeing Sonatane Takulua replace Ruki Tipuna, who picked up a knock during Monday night’s 75-22 win over Worcester Cavaliers in the Aviva A League and Craig Willis come in for the promoted Catterick.
As a result, Scott Lawson, Alex Rogers and Taione Vea provide cover for the front row, Mouritz Botha and Ally Hogg cover the remaining forward berths, while Chris Harris, who made a memorable, try scoring Aviva Premiership Rugby debut in the same fixture last December, will be looking to make the same kind of positive impact as at Sale when called upon.
Newcastle Falcons squad
V Saracens – Sunday 6th December KO 15:00
15 Alex Tait, 14 Belisario Agulla, 13 Adam Powell, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Marcus Watson, 10 Tom Catterick, 9 Michael Young, 1 Rob Vickers, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Jon Welsh, 4 Sean Robinson, 5 Calum Green, 6 Mark Wilson, 7 Will Welch, 8 Nili Latu
16 Scott Lawson, 17 Alex Rogers, 18 Taione Vea, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Ally Hogg, 21 Sonatane Takulua 22 Craig Willis, 23 Chris Harris