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Tigers seal hat-trick of away wins

Leicester Tigers made it three away wins in a row in the Aviva Premiership with a 30-13 victory over Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park on Sunday to move into third place in the league table.

Tigers led 14-3 with less than 20 minutes gone as the Falcons welcomed a first sell-out crowd in nine years, with the large travelling support cheering tries from Telusa Veainu and Ben Youngs.

But Falcons showed they were not going to be shrugged off as former Tigers wing Vereniki Goneva provided a try on the stroke of half-time, cutting the gap to just four points.

That lead was down to a single point in the opening moments of the second half after a penalty from Toby Flood, but three penalties from George Ford and a 10th try of the season for Jonny May ensured the four points for Matt O’Connor’s men.

Both teams went into the game with four wins and two defeats in the opening rounds of the season, but with Falcons starting the weekend in fourth place – two in front of Tigers – by virtue of their bonus points haul.

Matt Smith made his 150th starting appearance in a Tigers shirt, brought into the midfield alongside Mathew Tait following injury to Gareth Owen and Matt Toomua in the win over Castres a week earlier, while Newcastle captain Will Welch led out the hosts in his 200th appearance.

Referee Wayne Barnes was in charge of his 190th Premiership match, equalling the all-time record of Chris White.

Former Tigers skipper Toby Flood got the game under way for Falcons and the hosts enjoyed multiple phases of play in the opening minutes, though wasted an opportunity when No8 Lili Latu misplaced his pass on the left just as a gap had opened in the Tigers defence.

Tigers repelled another chance from the first penalty of the afternoon, Falcons prodding down the left touchline but unable to execute in the lineout.

The visitors took 10 minutes to gain possession in Falcons territory but made it count with a fifth try of the season from Veainu.

With referee Barnes playing advantage from a lineout, Tigers opted to spin the ball wide, with Mathew Tait finding Veainu and he danced round two defenders to score. Ford added the conversion for a seven-point lead.

But Falcons had an immediate chance to respond when Ellis Genge was whistled for a late tackle on Flood near halfway. Flood recovered to chip over the kick and get the hosts on to the scoreboard.

Nick Malouf showed smart work in defence as Falcons worked on overlap on the left, the Australian stepping in to make the tackle with two men free on the outside, and Tigers quickly turned defence into attack with a second try on 18 minutes,.

Veainu was again involved, breaking the line 25 metres out and then popping a pass for Ben Young to run in to score. Ford’s kick made it 14-3 to the visitors.

Falcons threatened again from the restart, capitalising on loose ball after a knock-on by Mapapalangi, but Brendon O’Connor showed his strength at the breakdown to win a penalty and Tigers were able to clear.

The pace was unrelenting on the artificial surface, with both teams choosing to run the ball rather than kick, and Tigers made their next attack on the back of successive penalties for high tackles in the Newcastle midfield. But, after setting a platform from a lineout, Tigers were unable to add further points when Veainu knocked on.

Another attack, this time with May and Brendon O’Connor carrying strongly, almost brought another opening but Falcons managed to win turnover ball near their own line.

The Falcons defence was being tested, but they weathered the storm and ended the half with their opening score, provided by former Tigers wing Vereniki Goneva.

After phases of play in the Tigers 22, the chance looked to have gone with another loose pass on the left, but Newcastle regained ball and Goneva exchanged passes with Alex Tait to break the cover defence and score. Flood converted to cut the gap to 10-14 with the final action of the half.

Ford got the second half under way and Falcons were immediately on to the attack with a stunning break by Sinoti Sinoti on the left which ended with a penalty and Flood took the chance to add three points to the board and make it 13-14.

Tigers thought they’d added an immediate response when O’Connor dived into the right-hand corner, but referee Barnes confirmed he had dropped the ball in trying to dot down as he ran out of space on the touchline.

Genge timed his run on to a pass from Youngs perfectly as Tigers built phases again, but it was Flood who brought his 30-metre run to a halt and Falcons then won a penalty almost under their own posts as Youngs tried to wriggle free.

Flood then looked to provide a chance for Falcons with a penalty down the left but, despite a well-worked move from the lineout, Tigers snuffed out the danger with more good work from Malouf and then O’Connor who won another penalty as he got over the ball at the breakdown.

Ford brought some breathing space with a penalty from halfway on 53 minutes – his side’s first points since the 18th minute.of the game – as he made it 13-17.

A burst from hooker Kyle Cooper, in the thick of the action all afternoon, had the home crowd on its feet and Leicester had to work hard as Falcons worked the ball to the right and Goneva was held up over the tryline.

The five-metre scrum brought a penalty for Tigers as Dan Cole and company pushed their rivals back and Ford was able to clear up towards halfway.

But Falcons came back again and Ford had to make a tackle on flanker Mark Wilson as he threatened to break to the tryline.

Tigers had to kick clear to relieve the pressure in their own half but weren’t able to build any phases as the lead remained at four points with the game into its final quarter.

More impressive work from O’Connor almost found a gap on the left, but Falcons scrambled back to close the door as Tigers recycled again.

Tigers introduced Sam Harrison, Harry Thacker and Luke Hamilton on 65 minutes and their first involvement brought a scrum penalty 30 metres out. Ford called for the tee and made it 20-13 with his second penalty of the day.

He had another chance with just three more minutes played as replacement Ally Hogg was whistled for a high tackle on Dom Barrow near halfway. And he made no mistake as he stretched the lead to 10 points with 10 minutes to go.

And the travelling support had even more to cheer a minute later when Ford’s precision crosskick found May on the left and he raced clear off Goneva to score in the corner. Ford nailed the conversion from out wide to make it 30-13 and push Tigers towards the victory, their 14th in the last 15 contests between the teams in Premiership rugby.

Adam Thompstone made his seasonal debut as a replacement for Mat Tait as the game restarted and his first involvement was a tackle on Sinoti which ended a promising move for the Falcons in attack and he then won a penalty on halfway to allow Tigers to go again in attack on the right.

Thacker almost reached the tryline as quick recycling had Falcons on the back foot, and the game ended with two penalties in the right-hand corner, but the home side managed to close out any further addition to the scoreline.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

NEW 10-14 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

NEW 13-30 LEI

Attendance

10,100

Referee

Wayne Barnes

Match Stats

Newcastle Falcons
Leicester Tigers
Possession
45%
55%
Territory
44%
56%
Penalties Conceded
13
11
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
168/195 86%
148/178 83%
Scrums Won
4/5 80%
4/4 100%
Lineouts Won
12/12 100%
14/14 100%

Player Stats

Newcastle Falcons
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Telusa Veainu1T
14Nick Malouf
13Matt Smith
12Mathew Tait
11Jonny May1T
10George Ford3C3P
9Ben Youngs1T
1Ellis Genge
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole
4Dom Barrow
5Graham Kitchener
6Valentino Mapapalangi
7Brendon O'Connor
8Sione Kalamafoni
16Harry Thacker
17Greg Bateman
18Patrick Cilliers
19Harry Wells
20Luke Hamilton
21Sam Harrison
22Joe Ford
23Adam Thompstone
Newcastle Falcons
Newcastle Falcons
13

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
30
Newcastle Falcons
P
T
C
P
KOHTFT
Leicester Tigers
T
C
T
C
P
P
P
T
C

Commentary

80

Next match

Tigers return to Welford Road on Saturday to start the defence of their Anglo-Welsh Cup title. Gloucester Rugby are the visitors for a 3pm kick-off. Tickets are available now.

80

Thank you for your support

A huge thank you for your support in the stadium and at home.

Tigers take the spoils

Tigers win on the road again. A cracking performance in defence and in attack as Tigers take four points home with them after a 30-13 victory at Kingston Park.

80

Penalty against Tigers

Tigers are pinged for holding on, and the chance goes away.

80

Time is up

This penalty lineout is the last play ...

79

Penalty advantage

Kitchener was taken in the air, but Ford's grubber was charged down. Play comes back for the penalty ...

78

Tigers are hunting the bonus

It's all Tigers in the closing stages. Thacker has gone close, and now they have a penalty for offside ...

76

Kicking masterclass from Ford

100 per cent from the tee, and now pinning Falcons back in their 22, Ford's kicking has been exemplary.

Thompstone on for Tigers

Great to see Adam Thompstone on to make his first appearance of the season. Welcome back Thommo.

73

More on May's try

Ford picked out May with an exquisite chip to the left flank. May stepped round Goneva as if he was not there and powered his way to the corner for his 10th try of the season.

Ford kicks the extras

Ford maintains his 100 per cent record from the tee with a beauty from the left.

Try time!

Another brilliant try for Tigers and another brilliant try for May! That should be the game now for the visitors.

Prop replacements for Tigers

Genge and Cole are off after another cracking shift. Bateman and Cilliers on for a crucial last 10 minutes.

It's brilliant from Ford

The Tigers fly-half strikes his kick, close to halfway and slightly on the angle, superbly. It goes straight through to put Leicester 23-13 ahead.

68

High tackle penalty

Hogg's first involvement in the game is to tackle Barrow high in midfield. Ford has a huge kick coming up, in distance and in terms of the game.

More replacements for Falcons

Harris, Takulua and Cooper are off for Falcons. Mermoz, Young and Lawson now on.

Ford keeps his cool

Ford makes light of a difficult angle to bang his kick through the posts and move Leicester seven points clear at Kingston Park with 14 minutes remaining.

65

Scrum penalty

Cole does his stuff again, and again Tigers get the scrum penalty. Ford calls for the kicking tee ...

First Substitutions

H Thacker, Harrison and Hamilton on for Tigers in place of T and B Youngs and Kalamafoni. Hodgson and Hogg on for Flood and Latu.

61

Game back on

Harris is fine and the game restarts with a scrum, at which Falcons get a free-kick.

61

Break in play

There's a break in play as Chris Harris receives treatment following a big tackle by Kalamafoni.

60

Veainu magic in defence

Veainu is alert to Flood's kick through, picks up in the 22, steps past Sinoti and sets up the ruck for Ford to clear.

58

What a scrum

Just when Tigers needed it, Dan Cole and his forward colleagues produce a devastating scrum to win the penalty and the pressure.

57

Falcons held up

The home side get up a head of steam, and Tigers struggle to slow their momentum. But Leicester manage to get bodies underneath Goneva and concede the 5m scrum. A huge moment coming up ...

55

Outstanding from Malouf

The winger snuffs out the threat of an overlap with a big hit on Sinoti, and knocks-on as he does so.

It's a monster kick from Ford

Ford lands a HUGE penalty from right on halfway to put the first points on the board this half for Tigers. They lead 17-13.

52

Offside penalty

Ford thinks he has the wind with him as well. He is lining up a penalty from halfway after Falcons went offside ...

50

More great work from O'Connor

A lovely backs move from the Falcons allows Takulua to break the Leicester line. But O'Connor, who has been everywhere, wins the holding-on penalty and Ford kicks Tigers into the Newcastle half.

45

So close for the Tigers

Genge is stopped just short of the line, Tigers recycle but O'Connor spills the ball as he is tackled into touch at the right-hand corner.

Falcons close the gap

Flood scuffs his kick but it has enough on it to go over. Tigers lead by a point.

42

Strong start for Falcons

The Falcons make a strong start to the second period, with Takulua flying down the left. A late tackle on Flood gives the hosts an early kick at goal.

40

The second half is underway

George Ford gets us going in the second half.

40

The teams are back out

Tigers are first back onto the pitch, closely followed by the hosts. It looks like Tigers will have a bit of a breeze at their backs this half, attacking the end to the right.

40

Half-time refreshments

A nice cup of tea has would be most welcome up in the Kingston Park press box as the temperature begins to drop in Newcastle.

Tigers lead at the break

Tries for Veainu and Ben Youngs give Tigers a 14-10 lead at the break. But the Falcons are dangerous when they get ball in hand, and ex-Tiger Vereniki Goneva scored for the hosts right on half-time to bring them back into the game.

Flood converts

Toby Flood, with the last kick of the half, lands a simple conversion in front of the posts.

Falcons finishing with a flourish

Falcons have Tigers under huge pressure as the half comes to an end. And it's that man Goneva for the hosts. He exchanges passes with Tait and crosses next to the posts.

36

Ford calms things down

A lovely angled kick into touch from George Ford takes play towards the Falcons 22m and gives the chance for some running repairs.

35

O'Connor having a stormer

Brendon O'Connor is all over the breakdown, and wins another turnover.

34

Good defence

Tigers produce a good defensive set, Tait knocks on and the visitors spread it wide for Malouf to clear.

32

Falcons' turn to attack

The Falcons have their first attacking opportunity in a while with a scrum on the Leicester 22.

30

Tigers pinged in the Falcons 22

Nick Malouf is the latest to stress the Falcons defence. But it's a bit rushed from Tigers and they are pinged as captain Youngs goes off his feet.

29

Tigers turned over

Tigers continue to stress the Falcons defence. But this time May is robbed of the ball as he goes into contact 10m out.

28

Chance goes away

Kitchener sets up the drive, but Veainu makes his first mistake of a brilliant game so far, and fumbles the pass with men outside.

27

Tigers to the corner

Another high tackle, and this time Ford kicks Leicester to the corner. Big moment.

26

Tigers on the attack

A high tackle on Jonny May allows Ford to kick Tigers back into the Falcons 22.

24

150 starts for Smith

Matt Smith, on his 150th start for Tigers, runs over his old teammate Flood as Tigers continue to enjoy plenty of possession.

21

Great work from O'Connor

Nick Malouf has been wise to the danger on his flank a couple of occasions, taking man and ball as a hint of an overlap develops. And this time he is supported by Brendon O'Connor, who wins the holding-on penalty.

18

More on the try

The Tigers attack was a little lateral until Veainu injected some pace, danced past Tait and offloaded to the supporting Youngs, who went over next to the posts untouched.

Ford adds the extras

George Ford has a simple conversion to put Tigers 11 points into the lead early on at Kingston Park.

Another try for the Tigers

Veainu's dancing feet create the try this time, and Ben Youngs finishes. Great stuff.

Falcons on to the scoreboard

Flood's kick just has the range, creeping over the bar to put the first points on the board for Falcons.

13

Genge on Flood

Ellis Genge welcomes Flood into the game with a big hit, a late one says referee Barnes, and Flood will go for goal.

Ford converts

Ford lands his kick for the maximum seven points and a good start for the Tigers.

Try time!

They don't need the advantage. Veainu continues his try-scoring form, dancing past Alex Tait and Goneva to score his 5th of the season.

10

Penalty advantage

Mapapalangi taken in the air. Tigers will have another penalty if they need it ...

10

First Tigers penalty

Ford puts his first penalty to within 8m. Chance for Tigers ...

8

Unhappy home fans

Latu intercepts Ben Youngs's pass from the scrum and charges on but again Barnes has blown for a Tigers free-kick, to the dismay of the home support.

7

Forward pass

The home fans are on their feet as No8 Nili Latu breaks away but referee Wayne Barnes's whistle has already gone for a clear forward pass by Flood on halfway.

4

Tigers take the ball

The throw is long and Tom Youngs reads it well. Matt Smith takes Tigers up to the 10m line where they win the penalty.

4

Early test

Tigers face an early test as Flood pumps a penalty towards the left-hand corner ...

2

Wrong decision

Falcons scrum-half Takulua with a strong run down the left but his pass outside goes into touch with numbers inside him.

We're off

Toby Flood gets us going, with Tigers defending the end to our right as we type.

0

Here come the hosts

Followed by the Falcons, who are led out by Will Welch on his 200th appearance for the club.

0

Here come the Tigers

Led out by captain Tom Youngs, Tigers are first on to the field.

0

Tigers Family

There is lots of red, white and green in the 10,000-capacity crowd. Great support, as always, from the Tigers Family.

0

Cracking atmosphere

It's a full house at Kingston Park for the first time since May 2008 and, despite local transport issues, there is a really good atmosphere in the lead up to kick-off.

0

Warm-ups are over

The two teams head back to the changing rooms for a final few words ahead of kick-off.

0

Familiar faces

There are some familiar faces to Tigers fans in the Falcons team. Niki Goneva, Toby Flood and Calum Green start for the hosts, Michael Young and Maxime Mermoz are on the bench.

0

Weather report

The clocks have gone back and it's now officially winter time ... but thankfully no-one has told the Newcastle weather. It's dry at Kingston Park, with some unthreatening cloud and temperatures around 9C.

0

Welcome to Kingston Park

Tigers are going through their warm-up at Kingston Park. Kick-off against Newcastle Falcons is 15 minutes away.


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Alex Tait
14
Vereniki Goneva
13
Chris Harris
12
Juan Pablo Socino
11
Sinoti Sinoti
10
Toby Flood
9
Sonatane Takulua
1
Rob Vickers
2
Kyle Cooper
3
Jon Welsh
4
Calum Green
5
Sean Robinson
6
Mark Wilson
7
Will Welch
8
Nili Latu

Subs

16
Scott Lawson
17
Sami Mavinga
18
Trevor Davison
19
Will Witty
20
Ally Hogg
21
Micky Young
22
Joel Hodgson
23
Maxime Mermoz

Team news: Tigers at Newcastle Falcons

Adam Thompstone is included in the Leicester Tigers squad for the first time this season for Sunday’s Aviva Premiership trip to Newcastle Falcons.

The club’s top try-scorer in 2016/17, Thompstone is available again after recovering from a neck injury and is named among the replacements for the Round 7 fixture at Kingston Park.

Brendon O’Connor returns to the Tigers starting line-up, with Mathew Tait and Matt Smith teaming up at centre after injury to Matt Toomua and Gareth Owen in the win over Castres Olympique last weekend. Smith makes his 150th starting appearance for the club and plays his 210th first-team game since his club debut in 2006.

Alongside Thompstone on the bench, there are also calls for Harry Thacker and Harry Wells as cover among the forwards.

Head coach Matt O’Connor said: “We need to show Newcastle the respect they deserve. They’re playing good rugby, they deserve their place in the league table and they’ve got some good results already. We will have to be good on the things we did against Castres last week and deliver on the intensity we need.”

Leicester Tigers (v Newcastle Falcons, away, Sunday 3.00pm)

15 Telusa Veainu

14 Nick Malouf

13 Matt Smith

12 Mathew Tait

11 Jonny May

10 George Ford

9 Ben Youngs

1 Ellis Genge

2 Tom Youngs (c)

3 Dan Cole

4 Dom Barrow

5 Graham Kitchener

6 Valentino Mapapalangi

7 Brendon O’Connor

8 Sione Kalamafoni

 

Replacements

16 Harry Thacker

17 Greg Bateman

18 Pat Cilliers

19 Harry Wells

20 Luke Hamilton

21 Sam Harrison

22 Joe Ford

23 Adam Thompstone

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Sonatane Takulua; 1 Rob Vickers, 2 Kyle Cooper, 3 Jon Welsh, 4 Calum Green, 5 Sean Robinson, 6 Mark Wilson, 7 Will Welch (c), 8 Nili Latu
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Sami Mavinga, 18 Trevor Davison, 19 Will Witty, 20 Ally Hogg, 21 Michael Young, 22 Joel Hodgson, 23 Maxime Mermoz

Match preview: Falcons versus Tigers

Ellis Genge fends off Newcastle's Dominic Waldouck during last season's win at Kingston Park
Ellis Genge fends off Newcastle's Dominic Waldouck during last season's win at Kingston Park

Leicester Tigers and Newcastle Falcons share very similar records in the season so far as they prepare to go head-to-head in Round 7 of the Aviva Premiership season on Sunday.

Both teams head into the weekend with four wins and two defeats in the opening six rounds, with Falcons slightly ahead on points scored (141-137) and Tigers holding a narrow advantage in terms of points conceded (129-134).

Crucially, though, Falcons have outscored Tigers 19 tries to 15 so far and sit three points and two places better off in the table thanks to bonus points scored so far, making this a massive game for both teams as fourth place meets sixth in front of Kingston Park’s biggest crowd for more than nine years.

While Tigers have bounced back from defeat in the opening two rounds to beat Gloucester, Harlequins, Exeter and London Irish in successive league games, Sunday’s hosts have attracted praise for their start to the season which has included wins against Worcester, Bath, Sale and Irish.

Matt Smith makes his 150th starting appearance in a Tigers shirt on Sunday, while Newcastle captain Will Welch is in line for a 200th game for the home side.

Welch said: “All the lads are really looking forward to playing in front of what looks like being a sell-out crowd. The place is rocking when there are 7,000 people here, so it will be phenomenal to have another couple of thousand in and to have it completely sold out.”

Hosting a Tigers side who were one-point winners on their last visit to the North-East, Welch said: “We have a lot of links to Leicester throughout our coaching and playing team so we know what they’re about, and they’re a quality outfit. They’re physical, they’re abrasive up front and they have a quality backline. We’ve really got to make sure we’re on the money.”

Falcons include five ex-Tigers in their matchday squad, with Vereniki Goneva, Toby Flood and Calum Green in the starting team, and Michael Young and Maxime Mermoz among their replacements this weekend.

Dom Barrow, a former Falcon, starts for Tigers and Mathew Tait lines up on the opposite side to younger brother Alec on his return to Kingston Park.

Tigers centre Tait said: “Newcastle are very well drilled, they work really hard to give the X-factor guys the chance to do what they do and it’s always a massive test going there. It’s so tight at the top of the table and it’s a massive game in the context of the season.”

After a 14-13 win in the North-East early last season and a 30-3 victory on home turf in April, Tigers have extended their run to just one defeat in the last 14 Premiership meetings between the two teams – a 26-14 beating in February 2016.

Overall the clubs have met on 56 previous occasions – including the Falcons’ previous guise as Gosforth and then Newcastle Gosforth – with Tigers winning 41 to 12 by the Tynesiders and three games drawn.

Referee for Saturday is Wayne Barnes who takes charge of his 190th Premiership match, equalling the all-time record of Chris White.

Tigers will be in the club’s white alternate kit at Kingston Park.

After a strong start to the season, Falcons anticipate a capacity crowd of 10,200 as Kingston Park prepares to put up the ‘sold out’ signs for the first time since May 2008.

For any supporters making the trip North, please note that the Tyne Bridge is closed 1.00pm-8.30pm on Sunday, along with rolling closures on some city streets in the afternoon.

If you are not making the trip, you can keep in touch with all of the action using the Matchday Live service on the Tigers App. Or keep an eye on the club’s official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for updates throughout the day.

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
4
Newcastle Falcons
Newcastle FalconsNEW221408455506-5155607063
5
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2213095374726561555663

Leicester Tigers and Newcastle Falcons share very similar records in the season so far as they prepare to go head-to-head in Round 7 of the Aviva Premiership season on Sunday.

Both teams head into the weekend with four wins and two defeats in the opening six rounds, with Falcons slightly ahead on points scored (141-137) and Tigers holding a narrow advantage in terms of points conceded (129-134).

Crucially, though, Falcons have outscored Tigers 19 tries to 15 so far and sit three points and two places better off in the table thanks to bonus points scored so far, making this a massive game for both teams as fourth place meets sixth in front of Kingston Park’s biggest crowd for more than nine years.

While Tigers have bounced back from defeat in the opening two rounds to beat Gloucester, Harlequins, Exeter and London Irish in successive league games, Sunday’s hosts have attracted praise for their start to the season which has included wins against Worcester, Bath, Sale and Irish.

Matt Smith makes his 150th starting appearance in a Tigers shirt on Sunday, while Newcastle captain Will Welch is in line for a 200th game for the home side.

Welch said: “All the lads are really looking forward to playing in front of what looks like being a sell-out crowd. The place is rocking when there are 7,000 people here, so it will be phenomenal to have another couple of thousand in and to have it completely sold out.”

Hosting a Tigers side who were one-point winners on their last visit to the North-East, Welch said: “We have a lot of links to Leicester throughout our coaching and playing team so we know what they’re about, and they’re a quality outfit. They’re physical, they’re abrasive up front and they have a quality backline. We’ve really got to make sure we’re on the money.”

Falcons include five ex-Tigers in their matchday squad, with Vereniki Goneva, Toby Flood and Calum Green in the starting team, and Michael Young and Maxime Mermoz among their replacements this weekend.

Dom Barrow, a former Falcon, starts for Tigers and Mathew Tait lines up on the opposite side to younger brother Alec on his return to Kingston Park.

Tigers centre Tait said: “Newcastle are very well drilled, they work really hard to give the X-factor guys the chance to do what they do and it’s always a massive test going there. It’s so tight at the top of the table and it’s a massive game in the context of the season.”

After a 14-13 win in the North-East early last season and a 30-3 victory on home turf in April, Tigers have extended their run to just one defeat in the last 14 Premiership meetings between the two teams – a 26-14 beating in February 2016.

Overall the clubs have met on 56 previous occasions – including the Falcons’ previous guise as Gosforth and then Newcastle Gosforth – with Tigers winning 41 to 12 by the Tynesiders and three games drawn.

Referee for Saturday is Wayne Barnes who takes charge of his 190th Premiership match, equalling the all-time record of Chris White.

After a strong start to the season, Falcons have confirmed the game is a 10,200 sell-out - a first since May 2008.

 

Form Guide
Newcastle Falcons
Form
LWWLL
Last Match
Lost to Edinburgh 8-21
Past Meeting
Lost 33-49
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Leicester Tigers
Form
LLLLL
Last Match
Lost to Racing 11-34
Past Meeting
Won 49-33

Matchday Live

Newcastle Falcons13
Newcastle Falcons
Leicester Tigers30
Leicester Tigers
Full Time