Century in store for Newcastle Falcons captain Will Welch

Newcastle Falcons captain Will Welch is in line to make his 100th appearance for the club tomorrow when they meet London Irish, but will have to do so from the bench

Will Welch
Will Welch

The openside flanker left the field after half-an-hour of their last Premiership encounter three weeks ago, a hard-fought victory at Worcester, after suffering a shoulder injury.

Rested up for the Amlin Challenge Cup trips to Bucharest and Brive, the skipper is back among the replacements for the 3pm kick-off as Mark Wilson continues in the No 7 shirt.

The Cumbrian forms part of a back-row trio which sees the return of Ally Hogg at No 8, the Scot having been used from the bench during last Saturday’s 23-16 defeat at Brive.

Dom Barrow packs down on the blindside flank, the second row seeing the return of Italian veteran Carlo del Fava alongside Fraser McKenzie.

The Scotsman has been rewarded for a pair of outstanding personal performances in European competition, the former Sale forward making his second league start since joining from the Manchester-based club.

Mike Blair and Rory Clegg resume the half-back partnership which was so successful during the Falcons’ last league outing, a 16-11 triumph at Worcester, having been stood down from trips to France and Romania. Irish centre Danny Barnes takes the No 13 shirt after being injured for the past six weeks, partnering Adam Powell in a midfield which sees James Fitzpatrick dropping down to the bench. Alex Tait returns at full-back after pulling out at the last minute in Brive due to a virus, Tom Catterick taking the place of Sean Brown on the wing as Newcastle meet a London Irish side who have only won once in the North East since 2008.

The Exiles travel to Kingston Park on the back of an emphatic start in Europe. Last weekend’s 67-6 triumph in Lisbon over Lusitanos delivered nine tries, two from winger Marland Yarde, who misses out tomorrow due to England training commitments ahead of the November tests. Alex Lewington and veteran Samoan international Sailosi Tagicakibau supply the wide threat in his absence.

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