Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Big Guns Are out for Clash in Bath

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Big Guns Are out for Clash in Bath

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK SMITH

NEWCASTLE Falcons have dusted off their big guns ahead of tomorrow's trip to Bath, as they continue their push for an LV= Cup semi-final place.

Head coach Alan Tait has gone with virtually his full-strength team for the Recreation Ground clash, with Scotland internationals Euan Murray and Ally Hogg among those drafted back into the fold.

The Falcons are currently top of their group on points difference from London Wasps, after beating Welsh giants Ospreys and losing to Harlequins in their two outings to date.

Only the eventual group winners progress through to the last four of the competition, but with a Heineken Cup place for the side eventually lifting the trophy, and a healthy prize pot for every single pool match, the significance of the much-maligned tournament is on the increase.

With that in mind the Falcons have brought back Luke Fielden, Tane Tu'ipulotu, Gcobani Bobo, Jimmy Gopperth, Micky Young, Tim Swinson and Will Welch into the side after being left out of their abandoned European match in Bourgoin last weekend.

On the bench there is also the welcome sight of Andrew van der Heijden, with the Kiwi lock all set for his debut after three months out with a broken arm. Joining him among the replacements is hooker Rob Vickers, with the Yorkshireman poised to come back after a similar spell on the sidelines with a broken leg.

Looking forward to the mouthwatering prospect of Murray and Golding combining in a potent front-row, Tait said: "Jon and Euan are both top-class players, and for Euan he's itching to get out there.

"He'll have a big game down at Bath, and Jon is the same because he's desperate to get back in that England Saxons squad after being left out.

"The only way for him to do that is to play regularly and to play well, and I'm expecting big games from a number of lads in this one because there's massive pressure on them to hold on to the shirt with the guys on the bench chasing them for the starting spots. …

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