The team of Newcastle has been plagued by a spate of recent injuries, and this comes to them at a particularly inopportune time as they have been forced to have six of their top-rung players on the bench ahead of their Amlin Challenge Cup tie against the French side, Lyon.
The Newcastle Falcons are just a couple of points shy of the group leaders, Toulon, in pool 2, but this won’t help their chances as the French stalwart team is expected to rout their next opponents – Pedova. If that prediction turns out to be accurate, the English side could be on their way home. Even if it doesn’t, the team’s current lineup is a lot weaker than their first team.
The captain for the last match, Jeremy Manning, is out of the team with a strain in his medial collateral ligament. James Fitzpatrick will replace him in midfield. Jimmy Goperth, replacing Tom Catterick who’s out of the side with a hamstring injury, will lead the side. Joel Hodgson will take the no. 10 position. At the front, Taiasina Tui’fua is on the bench with an ankle injury sustained in the last match. Ally Hogg, who will be joined by Michael Mayhem, will replace him. Michael gets a place in the squad while Joe Graham will be on the bench.
Not only the lineup, but even the team management has undergone changes for the upcoming tie. The new Newcastle coach, Gary Gold, has given responsibility of this match to Paul Moriarty. Gary is confident that his replacement has the sufficient skills. He said that Paul had done well with the team in the last match against Padova and that he would be present in the capacity of an observer. Other replacements for the English side include McGuigan, Shields and Chudley.