Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Richards Is Expecting a Response to Exeter Defeat

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Richards Is Expecting a Response to Exeter Defeat

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith Twitter: @markismith50 Facebook: www.facebook.com/chroniclerugby

DEAN Richards has changed six of his Newcastle Falcons side as they aim to recover from last weekend's hammering at Exeter - London Wasps their visitors on Friday.

England prop Kieran Brookes returns from Six Nations duty, Italy lock Josh Furno doing likewise as the tournament takes a breather.

Dom Barrow joins Furno in a newlook second row as Calum Green misses his first league game of the season, hooker Scott Lawson also missing out after suffering a deep cut around the eye last weekend.

There are two changes to the back line as Simon Hammersley and Alesana Tuilagi drop out of the match-day 23, Alex Tait starting at full-back while Noah Cato returns to the team out wide.

Asked if last weekend's 46-17 defeat in Devon was a shock to the players after a profitable month in the cups, Richards said: "It should be, yeah.

"We didn't expect to go down there and lose by as many as we did, and a lot of people thought we would be in with a shout of winning it.

"To come away and lose in the manner we did was a rocket up the proverbial, especially the first half in which we failed to turn up.

"But the players have responded positively and there has been that little edge in training, which is quite nice."

Expecting to face a similar level of threat against a Wasps side who are currently fourth in the Premiership after winning all but one of their last five games in the competition, the Falcons' boss knows his pack can ill afford another slow start.

"Wasps are a quality side, as Exeter are, and in many ways they are very similar," said the former England and Lions great.

"They have a lot of strong forwards, play a similar sort of style and it will certainly be a hard game for us."

Newcastle's last win over Wasps back in May 2012 proved a bittersweet one as their relegation to the Championship was officially confirmed, the club bouncing straight back to the top flight and now looking to climb from their secondbottom berth. …

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