Pete Lucock captains Newcastle Falcons in their final pre-season fixture away to Edinburgh tomorrow (Saturday).
The first match to take place at the new Edinburgh Rugby Stadium is a 3pm kick-off – the Falcons going for a pre-season clean sweep after defeating Glasgow Warriors 12-7 and Doncaster Knights 33-29 last weekend.
Ben Stevenson lines up at outside centre in a side which sees Tom Penny on the wing, with Louis Schreuder making his first start of pre-season at scrum-half.
England’s Trevor Davison packs down at tight-head prop with Samoan international Logovi’i Mulipola at loose-head – USA Eagle Greg Peterson partnering Sean Robinson in the second row after the latter injured his knee on England duty over the summer.
Carl Fearns starts at No.8 in a back-row which also includes Connor Collett and Philip van der Walt, the Falcons going with an 18-man bench as they continue to get match minutes into their legs ahead of the Gallagher Premiership opener at home to Harlequins on Sunday September 19.
Director of rugby Dean Richards said: “We played two games in two days last weekend and managed to get some useful match action for a lot of the boys.
“We battled well in both games even if there was still room for improvement, but as I always say at this time of year it’s more about the performance than the result in pre-season matches.
“Edinburgh will provide tough opposition as they always do, and it’s great that we can be part of a big occasion with the first match at their new stadium.
“One of our former players, Mike Blair, is now in charge up there, and it will be great to catch up with him as well as enjoying what should be a valuable afternoon of preparation going into the new season.
“The relative proximity of the fixture should hopefully also allow some of our away supporters to make the trip up to Scotland. We had a strong contingent following us in Glasgow last weekend, and it’s great that we’re going into the new season with fans back in good numbers.”
Newcastle Falcons team to face Edinburgh (Saturday, 3pm, Edinburgh Rugby Stadium)
15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Penny, 13 Ben Stevenson, 12 Pete Lucock (captain), 11 Iwan Stephens, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Louis Schreuder; 1 Logovi’i Mulipola, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Trevor Davison, 4 Sean Robinson, 5 Greg Peterson, 6 Philip van der Walt, 7 Connor Collett, 8 Carl Fearns.
Replacements: 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Kyle Cooper, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Matthew Dalton, 21 Will Haydon-Wood, 22 Louie Johnson, 23 George Wacokecoke, [blank shirts]: Richard Palframan, George Merrick, Will Montgomery, Marcus Tiffen, Tom Marshall, Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Alex Tait, Ewan Greenlaw, Zach Kerr.