Harris up for Sale!
Rob Andrew has pitched new Falcons signing Cory Harris in at the deep end by naming him in the starting line-up at Sale Sharks tonight.
The former Celtic Warrior slots in at openside for the 7.45 kick-off at Edgeley Park.
Boss Andrew said of the gritty 29-year-old Kiwi: "It is good we can put Cory straight into the team at a time when Colin Charvis is away with Wales.
"He comes into a position where we needed to change things a little.
"We have lost Warren Britz and Andy Mower already this season there and we have not operated with an out-and-out openside, which this team needs.
"Some of our best rugby in the past has been when we have had a real top-quality No.7 out there and we feel Cory can be that man for us.
"He is fit, strong and has been playing every week, sometimes twice a week, for Bridgend so there are no worries in that regard.
"In this situation the best way is probably to throw him straight in at the deep end.
"Cory has trained well this week so we are confident he will do well."
With Sale flying high at second in the Premiership after six wins from seven, Andrew said: "The form book probably says we are underdogs, and the form is good fun for bookies but we are confident of doing well. They have big threats with Charlie Hodgson and Sebastien Chabalbut we will be aiming to upset them and take it from there."
Outlining the approach needed, Andrew added: "We know all about their counter-attacks with Jason Robinson and Mark Cueto and tactically we know we cannot kick ball down their throats as they will cause us trouble.
"In the last two games our tactics have been smarter than at almost any time and Dave Walder at fly half been outstanding.
"The rest of the team have got right behind him and we will be looking for a good balance between forward play and attacks from the backs."
Including Harris, the Falcons make four changes from the side which beat Perpignan in the European Cup on Sunday.
Fit-again hooker Andy Long returns after a hamstring injury, as Matt Thompson drops to the bench, while Micky Ward replaces Marius Hurter at tight head prop after the South African picked up a groin injury.
James Grindal starts at scrum half in place of Hall Charlton in a side captained by loose head prop Ian Peel.
Sale are without winger Steve Hanley (thumb) and England World Cup prop Trevor Woodman (back).
SALE SHARKS: Jason Robinson (capt); Mark Cueto, Jos Baxendell, Robert Todd, Chris Mayor; Charlie Hodgson, Bryan Redpath; Andrew Sheridan, Andy Titterrell, Stuart Turner, Chris Jones, Dean Schofield, Jason White, Magnus Lund, Sebastien Chabal. Reps (from): Barry Stewart, Sebastien Bruno, Pierre Caillet, Chris Day, Peter Anglesea, Mike Hercus, James Moore, Sililo Martens, Chris Rhys Jones.
NEWCASTLE FALCONS: Matthew Burke; Tom May, Mathew Tait, Jamie Noon, Michael Stephenson; Dave Walder, James Grindal; Ian Peel (capt), Andy Long, Micky Ward, Craig Hamilton, Stuart Grimes, Mike McCarthy, Cory Harris, Phil Dowson. Reps: James Isaacson, Matt Thompson, Andy Buist, Semo Sititi, Mark Wilkinson, Hall Charlton, Epi Taione.