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Part apex predator, part immovable bovine - meet the new-look Bulls

Jake White's team are lacing their traditional oomph with flourishes of flair

Bottom side Newcastle include Pumas duo while Bristol change five

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Gaspafotos/MB Media/Getty Images)

Los Pumas centres Matias Orlando and Matias Moroni have been named to start by Newcastle in Friday night’s Gallagher Premiership home game versus Bristol. Moroni, a try-scoring sub in round five of The Rugby Championship, was last week promoted from the Argentina bench by Michael Cheika to take over in Durban from club colleague Orlando in the Test midfield versus the Springboks.


Both centres will now start for the Falcons having arrived in England on Monday night and trained with Dave Walder’s team on Tuesday. For Moroni, his selection heralds a Newcastle debut after he joined the club following last season’s Premiership title victory with Leicester.

Newcastle will surely benefit from having The Rugby Championship duo in their team for a round four match they come into having lost their opening three games – including last Saturday’s disspirited hammering at crisis club Worcester who have since been suspended from the Premiership.

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Walder said: “When players of that quality become available you have just got to pick them. They landed on Monday evening, they were training with the team on Tuesday and they have just slotted straight in.

“Matias Orlando is obviously familiar with a lot of what we do having been with us for a couple of seasons already, and even during their time away with Argentina I have been speaking to them both regularly and communicating around what we’re trying to do with the team here. It’s a big boost to have those guys available to us.”


Table toppers Bristol make five changes to their XV for the trip to bottom side Newcastle, midfielder Jack Bates among the changes that also sees the first start this season at scrum-half for Andy Uren while Jake Woolmore deputises for the rested Ellis Genge at loosehead.

NEWCASTLE: 15. Tom Penny; 14. Adam Radwan, 13. Matias Moroni, 12. Matias Orlando, 11. Mateo Carreras; 10. Brett Connon, 9. Sam Stuart; 1. Adam Brocklebank, 2. George McGuigan, 3. Trevor Davison, 4. Greg Peterson, 5. Sean Robinson, 6. Will Welch (capt), 7. Connor Collett, 8. Callum Chick. Reps: 16. Charlie Maddison, 17. Logovi’i Mulipola, 18. Richard Palframan, 19. Sebastian de Chaves, 20. Jamie Blamire, 21. Josh Barton, 22. Tian Schoeman, 23. Pete Lucock.


BRISTOL: 15. Rich Lane; 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Jack Bates, 12. Piers O’Conor, 11. Henry Purdy; 10. AJ MacGinty, 9. Andy Uren; 1. Jake Woolmore, 2. Will Capon, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. Ed Holmes, 5. Joe Joyce, 6. Chris Vui, 7. Jake Heenan (capt), 8. Magnus Bradbury. Reps: 16. Harry Thacker, 17. Yann Thomas, 18. Max Lahiff, 19. John Hawkins, 20. Dan Thomas, 21. Harry Randall, 22. Callum Sheedy, 23. Sam Bedlow.


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