Aviva Premiership Preview: Newcastle Falcons host Worcester Warriors at Kingston Park
Last Updated: 29/03/14 3:47pm
Worcester's search for victory takes them to Kingston Park on Sunday as the Warriors take on Newcastle Falcons in an Aviva Premiership basement battle.
Dean Ryan's side are in the midst of a 21-match winless run which stretches back to last season, albeit they came agonisingly close to ending their woeful form last time out.
An injury-time try from Jake Cooper-Woolley drew the scores level at Sixways last Friday night, before former Warrior Andy Goode held his nerve with the conversion as London Wasps snatched victory at the death.
Worcester are not consigned to relegation yet, though, and a trip to face 11th-placed Newcastle, who sit 12 points ahead of them, will be viewed as an ideal opportunity to buck their losing streak.
The Falcons have managed just four wins in 17 this term and themselves have lost their last 11 Premiership outings.
Peter Russell's side will fancy their chances of returning to winning ways on Sunday after ending on the wrong end of a 10-try thriller against Gloucester at Kingsholm last weekend.
Falcons scored five tries against the Cherry and Whites but were 40-33 losers at full time, although they did claim two bonus points to strengthen their bid to avoid relegation.
Gonzalo Tiesi will captain Newcastle at Kingston Park - the Argentina international centre, who penned a new deal on Tyneside earlier this week, leads out the Falcons in the absence of the injured Will Welch.
Mark Wilson makes a welcome return to the back-row, replacing Welch, while there are two changes in the backline with impressive scrum-half Warren Fury and winger Sinoti Sinoti handed starts.
Meanwhile, Rob O'Donnell is the lone change to Ryan's starting line-up as they continue their seemingly doomed bid to retain Premiership status.
The tighthead steps in for Euan Murray, who misses the game due to religious reasons. Loan signing Jerome Schuster is named among the replacements - Schuster could make his Warriors debut after joining the club from Leicester Tigers last month.
Newcastle: 15 Tait, 14 Cato, 13 Tiesi, 12 Barnes, 11 Sinoti, 10 Godman, 9 Fury, 1 Vickers, 2 Lawson, 3 Tomaszczyk, 4 Macleod, 5 McKenzie, 6 Wilson, 7 Saull, 8 York
Replacements: 16 McGuigan, 17 Strain, 18 Wilson, 19 Tomes, 20 Mayhew, 21 Blair, 22 Hodgson, 23 Fitzpatrick
Worcester: 15 Pennell, 14 Drauniniu, 13 Grove, 12 Fatiaki, 11 Lemi, 10 Lamb, 9 Jonny Arr, 1 Fainga'anuku, 2 Creevy, 3 O'Donnell, 4 Percival, 5 Galarza, 6 Williams, 7 Betty, 8 Thomas
Replacements: 16 Shervington, 17 Andrew, 18 Schuster, 19 Taulava, 20 De Carpentier, 21 Hodgson, 22 Mieres, 23 Symons
Aviva Premiership 2013/14 Round 18
Worcester boss Dean Ryan says a first win of the season could just spark a miraculous escape from relegation.
Worcester claimed their first Aviva Premiership win of the season with a 17-12 victory at Newcastle.
The RFU will take no action over claims from Tom Youngs that he was bitten during Leicester's win over Northampton.
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