Head Coach: Gary Gold

Newcastle Falcons chief Gary Gold has named an unchanged side for this Friday’s Aviva Premiership showdown with Saracens at Kingston Park (kick-off 7.45pm).

Gold, who has guided his resurgent Falcons outfit to back-to-back victories over Sale Sharks and Gloucester, is expecting a stern test from the Londoners.

“In the last few weeks we have been in a situation where every game has been a cup final and this week will be no different,” said Gold, who was speaking at yesterday’s shirt launch held at Close House Hotel. He added: “Saracens will be right up for it as they are playing for a home semi-final and we are playing for Premiership survival.

“The type of style of rugby that they play is incredibly difficult to play against and each player knows exactly what they are doing. It has been a tough week in training as we have the Premiership champions coming to town on Friday night. They are very well-drilled and you do not reach two Premiership finals in a row by accident.

“They are incredibly well coached with a good bunch of guys down there – I would go as far as saying that this is our toughest challenge of the season to date, there is no question about that.”

All tickets for the match have been reduced to just £10 adults, £5 juniors and can be snapped up by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060.

Starting XV:
15.  Greg Goosen
14. Corne Uys
13. Jamie Helleur
12. James Fitzpatrick
11. Ryan Shortland
10. Jimmy Gopperth
9. Peter Stringer
1. Jonny Golding
2. Rob Vickers
3. Euan Murray
4 James Hudson
5 Tim Swinson
6. Ally Hogg
7. Will Welch
8. Adam Balding

16. Matt Thompson
17. Grant Shiells
18. James Hall
19. James Goode
20. Taiasina Tu’ifua
21. Mark Wilson
22. Chris Pilgrim
23. Tom Catterick