Sep 15, 2017
Match Preview: Newcastle v Saracens
This weekend’s round three fixture between Saracens and Newcastle Falcons sees the Talen Energy Stadium in Philidelphia become the 36th different venue to host an Aviva Premiership fixture as English rugby heads stateside.
Newcastle finished the 16/17 season in a respectable eighth position as they proved many of their doubters wrong to secure their highest league finish since being promoted back to the Premiership following the close of the 2012/13 season. They come into the game having won their last four Premiership fixtures and sitting second in the league after wins after Sale and Worcester.
One to watch – Sonatane Takulua
Scrum half Takulua was a key performer for the Falcons last season and got his season off to strong start with an impressive showing against Worcester in round one. Effective with the boot, last season the Tongan international finished the campaign with a goal kicking success rate of 88%, one of the highest in the league.
“I think it’s great to have high quality rugby in the US, it will show the guys what it’s all about and the game should be very exciting. The Falcons are a really exciting team, they scored a lot of tries last season and have some good wingers which will be good for the contest – it should be a good match with some good scores and some big hits.” – Titi Lamositele
Ally Hogg told the Newcastle website “We’re pleased with the way things have gone with beating Worcester and Sale this season, and it’s great to see the boys’ hard work rewarded, but we know it’s still very early days. Playing the European champions we know will be a step up…They’ll be very set-piece oriented, kicking it, chasing it and trying to apply pressure. It’s about us dealing with that pressure, not getting caught in their trap of playing too much inside our own half and then looking to impose our own pressure back on to them.”
Referee: JP Doyle (135th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Dean Richards & Paul Burton.
TMO: David Sainsbury.
Citing Officer: Andy Blyth.
How to follow
TV – Live on BT Sport, kick off 22H10 GMT
Twitter – Live match commentary via @saracens
Instagram - @saracensoffical
Facebook - @sarcensofficial
Snapchat – Saracensrugby