Aviva Premiership: Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins preview
Last Updated: 01/12/13 12:38pm
Ally Hogg will bring up a century of appearances for Newcastle on Sunday when he plays for the Falcons against Harlequins at Kingston Park.
The Scotland international, who moved to the Aviva Pemiership club from Edinburgh back in the summer of 2009, follows captain Will Welch in reaching the milestone this season.
Director of rugby Dean Richards has praised Hogg ahead of his 100th outing and feels he can help drive Newcastle on the bigger and better things.
"Hoggy's been fantastic for the club ever since he arrived here, and I don't think people realise how well he understands the game," he said.
"It's a big milestone and a testament to his commitment to the club - he'll be itching to kick-on now and help the club move up the table."
Richards makes just one alteration to the starting line-up that went down 18-0 to Northampton last time out, Kieran Brookes replacing Oliver Tomaszczyk at tighthead prop.
"Harlequins have got a huge amount of quality in their side from Joe Marler to Nick Easter, to Chris Robshaw to Danny Care, so they are clearly a top side," added the former Quins boss.
"You can understand why they won the Premiership the other year, and they will come up here with the viewpoint of getting a result so it will be a hard game.
"Their whole team is a threat and it's a great opportunity for us to test ourselves against some of the very best players in the game, and I'm really looking forward to the contest."
The visitors make a solitary change themselves, winger Sam Smith coming in on the left to replace the injured Ugo Monye.
In the forwards, Nick Easter continues as captain behind an unchanged front row, meaning England skipper Chris Robshaw gets to rest for a second successive week.
Among the replacements, Paul Doran Jones and Ollie Lindsay-Hague return from injury, while James Chisholm will look to make his first Premiership appearance for the club.
Quins have lost just once in the last seven meetings of the two teams in the Premiership, though their last victory at Newcastle came in November 2006 when Richards was in charge.
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Tait, 14 Cato, 13 Barnes, 12 Powell, 11 Shortland, 10 Godman, 9 Blair; 1 Rob Vickers, 2 Scott Lawson, 3 Kieran Brookes, 4 Carlo del Fava, 5 Fraser McKenzie, 6 Richard Mayhew, 7 Will Welch (capt), 8 Ally Hogg
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Grant Shiells, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Sean Tomes, 20 Chris York, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 James Fitzpatrick.
Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Tom Casson, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care; 1 Joe Marler, 2 Dave Ward, 3 Will Collier, 4 Nick Easter (capt), 5 George Robson, 6 Joe Trayfoot, 7 Luke Wallace, 8 Tom Guest
Replacements: 16 Harry Allen, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Paul Doran-Jones, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 James Chisholm, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Charlie Walker.
Aviva Premiership 2013/14 Round Nine
Northampton forwards Tom Wood, Christian Day, Sam Dickinson, Mike Haywood and Ben Nutley have all signed new contracts.
Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea believes the "astonishing" Nick Easter deserves an England recall.
Harlequins returned to the top four of the Aviva Premiership with a 35-9 bonus-point victory over Newcastle.
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