Champions Cup: Edinburgh v Newcastle Falcons – build-up

Edinburgh v Newcastle FalconsBBC Radio ScotlandLiveBBC Radio Scotland MW/DAB/OnlineGot a TV Licence?You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.Find out moreSummaryKick-off 19:45 GMTNewcastle top Pool 5 with two wins from twoPremiership side struggling with injury crisisEdinburgh second, two points behindGET INVOLVED #BBCSportScotLive ReportingBy Jamie LyallAll times stated are UKPosted at 19:4019:40’You mix it with Deano at your peril’Edinburgh v Newcastle FalconsHeavy cotton jerseys. Cauliflower ears. Fists flying. Not a TMO in sight…Back in their playing days, a young and hungry Richard Cockerill was schooled in the confrontational ways of Leicester Tigers by Dean Richards.Cockerill’s a pretty tough bloke, but he tells a yarn about the time he inadvertently roused the wrath of his massive former team-mate.“We were playing ‘touch’ in training. I’d turned to chase Matt Poole and as I did so I felt someone grab my shirt and pull me back,” Cockerill wrote in his 1999 autobiography.“Without a second thought I swung my arm back and smashed whoever did it right in the chops. Of course, that person had to be Deano, didn’t it?“He rubbed his jaw for a moment then he grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and started laying into me.“He was punching me and I was trying to avoid his fists because he’s not exactly the weakest of men. A few blows were traded but I can assure you the vast majority landed on one place – the top of my head. You mix it with Deano at your peril.”Getty ImagesCopyright: Getty ImagesDean Richards, far right, at the heart of a scrap between Leicester Tigers and London Irish players in 1996Image caption: Dean Richards, far right, at the heart of a scrap between Leicester Tigers and London Irish players in 1996Posted at 19:3819:38Argy-bargyEdinburgh v Newcastle Falcons (19:45)We might see some brotherly love if Argentine siblings Juan Pablo and Santi Socino appear for their respective teams.Centre Juan Pablo, the elder by four years, left Falcons for Edinburgh in the summer and started against Munster last week.Hooker Santi has been at Newcastle since 2015. He’s younger but rather more beefy than his sibling – 16kg heavier to be exact. I reckon he’d have the edge in any Socino v Socino tussles…Getty ImagesCopyright: Getty ImagesThe Socino brothers played together at Newcastle Falcons for three yearsImage caption: The Socino brothers played together at Newcastle Falcons for three yearsPosted at 19:3519:35Post updateEdinburgh v Newcastle Falcons (19:45)Iain CarterBBC Sport commentator at MurrayfieldBBC SportCopyright: BBC SportAll three Murrayfield autumn Tests were sold out last month. Not quite the same atmosphere as an international tonight.Posted at 19:3419:34Gary Graham: England’s ‘guinea pig’?Edinburgh v Newcastle Falcons (19:45)You can only imagine the hideous pasting Gary Graham copped when he walked into the Scotland camp last month.A year ago, the Scotland-born flanker was training with Eddie Jones’ England. In a newspaper article, he was quoted in pretty explosive terms, suggesting just how much he’d love to play against the country of his birth and – I paraphrase – prove a point.How times change. Graham fell just short of winning an England cap and, according to Gregor Townsend, has now committed to following his father George, the former Scotland prop.SNSCopyright: SNSGary Graham was called-up to Scotland’s autumn squad in NovemberImage caption: Gary Graham was called-up to Scotland’s autumn squad in NovemberGraham’s former Newcastle team-mate Ally Hogg reckons Jones was making a political point, with Scottish Rugby looking harder than ever for qualified players south of the border.”Jones used him as a bit of a guinea pig, which wasn’t fair on Gary. He’d only played a few games for Newcastle when he was called up,” former Scotland back-row Hogg said.”Knowing what Eddie Jones is like, it was probably more of a warning shot to Gregor that he’s taken a few English players and he might do vice versa.”Posted at 19:3119:31Big Bill back in the saddleEdinburgh v Newcastle Falcons (19:45)Cockerill’s got his Scotland players back, but it’s a colossal Fijian who might give him the biggest boost.Viliame “Bill” Mata has been in sensational form this season. Dean Richards reckons he’s “one of the best number eights in the world”.His dynamic ball-carrying is phenomenal and his game intelligence is really impressive too.Mata is the top carrier in both the Pro14 and Champions Cup this term, with his European haul standing at 42 across two matches.SNSCopyright: SNSPosted at 19:3019:30Big guns back for EdinburghEdinburgh v Newcastle Falcons (19:45)Falcons are brutally depleted, but it’s a very different scenario for Edinburgh.Cockerill welcomes back a raft of rested Scotland players, who were off last week following their autumn Test exertions.Blair Kinghorn, Darcy Graham and Henry Pyrgos feature in the backs.Up front, captain Stuart McInally, WP Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Ben Toolis, Hamish Watson and Jamie Ritchie start.Thrown in South African Pierre Schoeman at loose-head and Scotlnd props Allan Dell and Simon Berghan on the bench, and Edinburgh will fancy their chances of splintering Newcastle’s makeshift front-row.SNSCopyright: SNSStuart McInally returns from international duty to lead EdinburghImage caption: Stuart McInally returns from international duty to lead EdinburghPosted at 19:2719:27’We were happy for them to bring bodies in’Edinburgh v Newcastle Falcons (19:45)Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill tells BBC Scotland the club told EPCR they were “happy” for Falcons to register another prop.”They’ve got three fit props, they’re all loose-head props. Lockwood is going to have a crack at tight-head and they’ve come here to have a contest,” Cockerill said.”We rang EPCR and said we’re happy for them to bring extra bodies in to make it a fair contest. But regs are regs and we’re at where we’re at.”SNSCopyright: SNSEdinburgh head coach Richard CockerillImage caption: Edinburgh head coach Richard CockerillPosted at 19:2519:25Post updateEdinburgh v Newcastle Falcons (19:45)Iain CarterBBC Sport commentator at MurrayfieldNewcastle have big front-row problems. David Wilson is out at tight-head and, with the squad down to its bare bones, they are a man down on the bench with Sami Mavinga covering both tight and loose-head positions. What price uncontested scrums before the night is out?Posted at 19:2219:22Prop idolEdinburgh v Newcastle Falcons (19:45)Props have been dropping like flies – or more accurately collapsing like elephants – down Newcastle way this week.Dean Richards was already without Jon Welsh, Craig Mitchell and Paul Mullen. Three more tight-heads got injured on Wednesday and Thursday, stretching his front-row stocks to their very limits.England veteran David Wilson was named to start but he’s not fit enough to play. Neither is replacement Trevor Davison. So, loose-head Sam Lockwood starts in the number three jersey and only one prop, Sami Mavinga, is named on the bench.Newcastle say they tried to register another prop but tournament organisers EPCR would not let them.Posted at 19:1819:18WelcomeEdinburgh v Newcastle Falcons (19:45)Newcastle Falcons’ fabulous victories over Toulon and Montpellier have propelled them to the top of Champions Cup Pool 5.Edinburgh lost narrowly at Montpellier, picking up a losing bonus point against Vern Cotter’s men, then thumped Toulouse at Murrayfield.This double-header could go a long way to deciding who finishes top and books their place in the quarter-finals. It would be a heck of an achievement for either of these two. Stay with us for live radio commentary and text updates.BBC SportCopyright: BBC Sport
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