Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Cup Tie Creates Problem

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Cup Tie Creates Problem

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alan Hedley

Defending champions Newcastle Falcons have been drawn away to Saracens in the sixth round of the Powergen Cup.

The clash is due to take place on the weekend of December 18-19 at Vicarage Road depending on Watford's soccer commitments ( the two clubs are currently negotiating over the date of their return Premiership game, which is scheduled for January 30.

Saracens have a problem with that because of the Watford complication and they have asked Newcastle if they would play on the Thursday night which has raised a few eyebrows at the Falcons. It could be the game may have to go to a neutral venue.

However, the two will be in action against each other a month before that as the Falcons take the first step in defence of the trophy which they spectacularly won at Twickenham back in April in a 37-33 triumph over Sale Sharks.

Falcons director of rugby Rob Andrew said: "We know that Saracens will provide tough opposition, but having won the Cup twice in the last four seasons we hope to continue our excellent record in the competition.

"Winning the Powergen Cup was a huge boost for the club last season, not only because it secured European Cup rugby, but because it's a great trophy to win in its own right.

"It was a massive day out for the fans who went down to London in huge numbers and it's raised the profile of the club. The response we've had up here has been amazing and it's contributed to a much greater interest in the game in the North-East."

Meanwhile, Andrew has named his side for Sunday's Zurich Premiership game against Leeds Tykes at Kingston Park (kick-off 2.30pm).

He has made four changes with 20-year-old Andy Buist making his first start of the season as he comes in at lock for Stuart Grimes, who is with Scotland.

In the back row, Samoa captain Semo Sititi starts at blindside flanker for Mike McCarthy. At tight-head prop Marius Hurter takes the place of Micky Ward, while Jamie Noon comes into the side at outside centre in place of Mathew Tait. …

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