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Tait looks for Newcastle response


Alan Tait

Alan Tait

Alan Tait

Newcastle boss Alan Tait wants his players to make a statement of intent in Friday night's Aviva Premiership clash against Wasps at Kingston Park.

The Falcons are back on home soil following a comprehensive opening weekend defeat against Sale Sharks, when they were punished for woeful indiscipline as Sale kicker Nick Macleod booted six penalties in a 35-18 win.

"Friday's game is huge for us," said Tait. "It is in front of our own fans, and it's a chance for us to show our supporters what we are all about this season. It is down to us to deliver."

He added: "The players were hurting last weekend down at Sale, just as the fans were, but they turned up for the recovery session on Saturday morning ready to work, switched on and determined to restore their pride.

"As a professional, I always felt the best way to address a bad result was to get back in with a good one, and I'm sure our current players feel the same way.

"There was a lot of frustration from the Sale game because we gifted them their tries through our own errors rather than the opposition being anything extraordinary.

"The lads were rightly upset about that, but we also created some good chances and from that point of view it was still fairly encouraging."

Tait has made four changes for Wasps' visit, calling up half-backs Jimmy Gopperth - last season's top Premiership points-scorer - and Micky Young, while also handing first starts to summer signings Luke Fielden at full-back and flanker Redford Pennycook.

Wasps, held 29-29 by Harlequins at Twickenham last Saturday, also show four changes after suffering their share of early-season casualties.

England prop Phil Vickery (ankle), lock Richard Birkett (elbow) and centre Dominic Waldouck (hand) are replaced by Zak Taulafo, James Cannon and Riki Flutey, respectively, with former Newcastle player Dave Walder moving in at fly-half instead of Flutey.

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