Newcastle v Leicester preview: Team news, kick-off time, line-ups and stats for the Aviva Premiership clash
Newcastle host Leicester in the Aviva Premiership on Friday night: 19:45 kick-off
Chris Harris and Marcus Watson return to the Falcons starting XV
Full-back Telusa Veainu and prop Marcos Ayerza return to the Tigers starting line-up
Chris Harris and Marcus Watson return to the Newcastle Falcons starting XV for this Friday’s Premiership clash with Leicester Tigers. as the club look to extend their home winning streak to five games.
Harris’s return sees the Cumbrian back take the outside centre shirt for the eighth time for the club, while Adam Powell moves across to the inside-centre berth in place of Juan Pablo Socino, who moves to the bench.
Former England Sevens star Watson’s return will see him line up on the left wing and look to build on his last outing which saw him claim score his debut Aviva Premiership try to back up the six he collected in the group stages of the European competition.
Japan international prop Kensuke Hatakeyama also could make his first appearance from the bench.
The Falcons, who were narrowly overcome by wasps on their travels last weekend enter the match looking to extend their home winning streak to five games.
However, with bottom-of-the-table rivals London Irish getting a win last weekend, the pressure is now on the Falcons to continue a fine run of home form that has seen them triumph in their last four matches in all competitions at Kingston Park.
Meanwhile, international duo Telusa Veainu and Marcos Ayerza return to the Leicester Tigers line-up.
Both men sat out the home defeat by Sale Sharks last weekend but take their places in the starting team at Kingston Park.
Tom Croft reclaims a place in the back row after starting on the bench against Sharks, with Mike Fitzgerald moving into the second row as a replacement for the suspended Dom Barrow.
Laurence Pearce is included among the replacements after missing the last two games, and there is a place in a Premiership matchday squad for the first time for fly-half Oli Bryant.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Newcastle: Nili Latu
Leicester: Matt Smith
Newcastle: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Alex Tait, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Marcus Watson, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Michael Young, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Nili Latu, 6 Will Welch (c), 5 Sean Robinson, 4 Mark Wilson, 3 Taione Vea, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Bobby Vickers
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Alex Rogers, 18 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Alesana Tuilagi, 21 Sonatane Takulua, 22 Craig Willis, 23 Juan Pablo Socino
Leicester: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Mathew Tait (c), 12 Matt Smith, 11 Gonzalo Camacho, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Lachlan McCaffrey, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Mike Fitzgerald, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Marcos Ayerza
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Greg Bateman, 19 Sebastian De Chaves, 20 Laurence Pearce, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Oli Bryant, 23 Jack Roberts
Date: Friday, February 12
Venue: Kingston Park
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant Referees: Ashley Rowden, Kelvin Stewart
TMO: David Sainsbury