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
Fri 27th Mar
Northampton52 - 30Wasps
Sat 28th Mar
Leicester Tigers25 - 18Exeter
London Irish22 - 21Newcastle Falcons
Saracens42 - 14Harlequins
Sun 29th Mar
Sale Sharks23 - 6Gloucester
London Welsh14 - 29Bath
Fri 10th Apr
Newcastle Falcons0 - 0Bath
Sat 11th Apr
Harlequins0 - 0Gloucester
Saracens0 - 0Leicester Tigers
Sun 12th Apr
Exeter0 - 0Northampton
London Welsh0 - 0Wasps
London Irish0 - 0Sale Sharks
Fri 24th Apr
Bath0 - 0London Irish
Sat 25th Apr
Sale Sharks0 - 0Harlequins
Gloucester0 - 0Newcastle Falcons
Leicester Tigers0 - 0London Welsh
Northampton0 - 0Saracens
Sun 26th Apr
Wasps0 - 0Exeter
Fri 8th May
Harlequins0 - 0Bath
Sat 9th May
Sale Sharks0 - 0Newcastle Falcons
Gloucester0 - 0London Irish
Northampton0 - 0London Welsh
Wasps0 - 0Leicester Tigers
Sun 10th May
Saracens0 - 0Exeter
Sat 16th May
Bath0 - 0Gloucester
Exeter0 - 0Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers0 - 0Northampton
London Irish0 - 0Wasps
London Welsh0 - 0Saracens
Newcastle Falcons0 - 0Harlequins
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.
- Youngs points the finger
- Davies: Win could be pivotal
- O'Shea targets Sale showdown
- Young: Sarries had extra gear
- Tigers maul stuttering Saints
- Gloucester hold off Chiefs
- Harlequins dispatch Exiles
- Sarries cut down Wasps
- Ryan: Worcester win crucial
- Diamond defends scrum fouls
- Saturday's Aviva Prem preview
- Bath v Sale: Teams