Josh Matavesi’s Newcastle debut comes against Worcester, who he played for between 2012 and 2014

Aviva Premiership Venue: Kingston Park Date: Friday, 1 September Kick-off: 19:45 BSTCoverage: Live score updates on BBC local radio and on the BBC Sport website

Newcastle are without key new signings Toby Flood, Maxime Mermoz and DTH van der Merwe for the season’s opener, although Josh Matavesi will debut.

Full-back Simon Hammersley makes his first appearance since recovering from a cruciate ligament injury.

Back-rower GJ van Velze is back for Worcester after a year-long absence with concussion problems.

Lions star Ben Te’o is on the bench, having been granted a late return to training after his summer exertions.

Four of Warriors’ seven summer signings – Ethan Waller, Pierce Phillips, Peter Stringer and Sam Olver – are named on the bench.

Newcastle: Hammersley; Tait, Harris, Matavesi, Agulla; Hodgson, Takulua; Vickers, Cooper, Welsh, Green, Witty, Wilson, Welch (c), Chick.

Replacements: Lawson, Mavinga, Davison, Cavubati, Latu, Stuart, Willis, Socino.

Warriors: Adams; Hammond, Olivier, Willison, Heem; Heathcote, Arr; Bower, Singleton, Schonert, O’Callaghan (c), Spencer, Cox, Lewis, Van Velze.

Replacements: Taufete’e, Waller, Alo, Phillips, Faosiliva, Stringer, Olver, Te’o.


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