The Falcons make 3 changes for Bath

The Falcons make 3 changes for Bath

Newcastle Falcons have made three changes to their side for Friday’s Gallagher Premiership home game against Bath Rugby.


Full-back Louis Brown, lock Tim Cardall and centre Cameron Hutchison all come in for the 7.45pm kick-off at Kingston Park as the Falcons play their final home game of the 2023-24 campaign.


Having ran Sale Sharks close for much of their last outing consultant director of rugby Steve Diamond is keen to channel that progress for the full duration, saying: “We were in the arm-wrestle for 60-odd minutes and lost it through a few errors and a little bit of indiscipline.


“I was reasonably pleased with the overall performance, though, and the scoreline probably flattered Sale a little bit in the end. We put a few things to bed following the Bristol game, and despite still not getting the win I actually thought the squad responded really well.


“Bath will give us similar challenges to Sale in that they’ve got world class players and plenty of size. They’ll look to get over the gain line and spark things off from there, but I think we’re a different kettle of fish up here.


“We’ve not got anything like the players they’ve got, but what we do have is more heart and soul than most teams I’ve been involved with. That counts for a lot – certainly at home on a Friday night.


“We’ve got to look after their main attractions – the Alfie Barbearies, Ollie Lawrences and those lads – but we’ve mainly just been looking at our own stuff.


“We were on Sale’s try line for eight minutes in the first half but we just couldn’t convert, and there was a bit of white line fever. We’ve hopefully worked that one out, but the past three months have been great for us. We’re working hard to get one of these games over the line, but in terms of improvements in every area we’ve made a lot of progress.”


Keen to nail down a first league victory of the campaign, Diamond added: “Nobody wants the record of going through the entire season without a league win.


“If it does happen, we’ll not cry about it. We’ll take our medicine and ensure it never happens again, and it takes a bit of time to alter the course of an oil tanker. But yeah, a win is important, especially for the supporters and sponsors who have given us such great backing throughout the year, and Semore Kurdi, who has been a fantastic owner here for a very long time.


“For some of our guys it will be their last game at home for the club, and as a group it’s their final home game together. They’ll want to do it for each other as much as anything else, and that can be quite powerful motivation in its own right.


“We’ve trained really well this week and I think the lads took a lot of confidence out of the Sale game, even though we didn’t get the win. We’ll give Bath a real challenge and it’ll be a good game.”


Asked about his summer recruitment with six new faces already through the door, Diamond said: “The squad that we’ll have next season will make us much more competitive in the Premiership, which is no disrespect to any of the lads who are leaving us.


“In these embryonic stages we’re looking for gradual progress, which means being respected and competitive in the Premiership and Europe, and we can build from there. So it’s not a case of going out and spending a load of money on off-the-shelf stars to instantly win leagues. It’ll be a slow and steady build.


“There’s only two letters difference between ‘nurture’ and ‘vulture’, and if you’re given ultimate resources then you can go around picking off all the best talent at the other clubs. There are three Premiership clubs have gone bust, and teams like Bath have snapped up their best players. That’s not a criticism, it’s good business, and fair play to them. We’re not in the position to do that at Newcastle - and that’s not me complaining. I’ve come up here with full knowledge about what the situation is, and I’m fine with it.


“For Bath, with the money they spend, the training facility they’ve got and the vast coaching resource at their disposal – they should be winning leagues and cups year in, year out, or at the very least be hitting semi-finals. That should be par for them every single time, but as recently as a couple of years ago they were bumbling around the wrong end of the league and finishing bottom, below little old Newcastle.


“The team I’m building here is vastly different to theirs, but I’m not sat here whingeing about it. We’re rebooting everything here – academy, medical, coaching, playing. Everyone is getting to know what their job is and what they’re accountable for, and there are loads of talented, committed people here who are determined to make it work.”


Newcastle Falcons team v Bath Rugby (Friday, 7.45pm, Kingston Park, live on PRTV)


15 Louis Brown, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Cameron Hutchison, 11 Ben Redshaw, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Sam Stuart; 1 Adam Brocklebank, 2 Jamie Blamire, 3 Eduardo Bello, 4 Tim Cardall, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Sam Cross, 7 Guy Pepper, 8 Callum Chick (captain).


Replacements: 16 Bryan Byrne, 17 Mark Dormer, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 John Hawkins, 20 Freddie Lockwood, 21 James Elliott, 22 Rory Jennings, 23 Oli Spencer.


Not available for selection: Phil Brantingham, Murray McCallum, Kiran McDonald, Elliott Obatoyinbo, Hugh O’Sullivan, Tom Penny, Pedro Rubiolo, Ben Stevenson, Philip van der Walt.

Latest News