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Falcons v Nottingham: Calladine handed first league start

NOTTINGHAM flanker Tom Calladine will make his first RFU Championship start in the Green and Whites top of the table clash with Newcastle at Kingston Park on Friday (November 4).

Calladine tryThe Mansfield-born and raised hardman has impressed as an impact player for the East Midlands club this season, having come off the bench in all eight league matches. He stood out in Nottingham's two British and Irish Cup matches as a starter in a largely experimental line-up.

Calladine (pictured), who spent the off-season playing for Linwood in New Zealand's Canterbury Metropolitan Competition where he finished the club's try scorer and voted best player, comes in at blind-side flanker ahead of Rupert Cooper.

The former young England international's inclusion is one of three changes made to the Nottingham team that overpowered Bristol 63-7 on Sunday.

Hooker Shaun Malton, who has signed for Nottingham for the rest of the season after completing a short term contract with Premiership side London Irish, takes his place on the bench.

Centre Tim Streather has recovered from injury and is immediately ushered back into Martin Haag's match day 22. Joe Cobden, however, manages to hold his starting spot having shone since Streather was sidelined early last month.

Nottingham backs coach Ben Johnston said Calladine's energy and the inclusion of Streather and Malton will be crucial for a Green and Whites side that have focused on being in peak condition for the toughest away trip in the Championship.

"This week has been a case of fine tuning and making sure everyone is fresh from Friday night because it has been a short turn around for us," Johnston said.

As for the hype surrounding the clash and the way in which Nottingham roared to second place in the league, Johnston said the enormity of the task has kept everyone grounded.

"It's good that we have the toughest opposition in the league next because all the players realise the task ahead of them," Johnston said.

"The performance was great but it will take a monumental effort to go away to Newcastle and come away with something."

Nottingham rugby team to face Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park on Friday, November 9 (8pm kick-off):15 Andrew Savage 14 David Jackson 13 Joe Cobden 12 Joe Munro 11 Rhys Crane 10 James Arlidge 9 Sean Romans 1 Matt Parr 2 Joe Duffey 3 Michael Holford 4 Dan Montagu 5 Nic Rouse 6 Tom Calladine 7 Brent Wilson 8 Alex Shaw.

Replacements from:16 Shaun Malton 17 Matt Shields 18 Joe Quinn 19 Rupert Cooper 20 Finlay Barnham 21 Rory Lynn 22 Tim Streather.


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