Collins starts for Wanderers against table-topping Falcons

Tom Collins' most recent Saints appearance came in the Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat at Clermont Auvergne on March 31
Tom Collins' most recent Saints appearance came in the Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat at Clermont Auvergne on March 31

Tom Collins will start for the Wanderers when they face table-topping Newcastle Falcons A at Franklin's Gardens tonight (kick-off 7pm).

Collins was not involved in Saints' defeat to Gloucester on Sunday afternoon, but he will be back in action in the Premiership Rugby Shield Northern Conference match this evening.

The wing is part of a strong back-line that also includes Andrew Kellaway and promising centre Fraser Strachan.

James Grayson skippers the Wanderers from fly-half, with Charlie Davies again at scrum-half.

Four guest players will start with another three on the bench.

Hooker George Newman (Moseley), locks Freddie Betteridge (Coventry) and Tom Jubb (Coventry) and flanker Keifon Laxton (Cambridge) are all in the starting 15.

Josh Taylor (Ampthill), Sam McNulty (Coventry) and Robbie Povey (Coventry) are among the replacements.

With just two matches remaining in the group stage of the competition and Worcester Cavaliers now level on points with the second-placed Wanderers, a victory this evening would go a long way towards qualification for the knock-out rounds.

Newcastle need just a single point from their two remaining games to secure a home semi-final on the back of last week's 73-5 home win over Sale Jets.

The Falcons have lost just one of their eight games in the competition so far.

Tim Swiel starts at fly-half after converting nine of Newcastle's 11 tries a week ago.

Flanker Connor Collett is among the players retained as coaches Mark Laycock and James Ponton juggle their resources.

Home Wanderers matches remain free to attend for season ticket holders, with tickets costing £5 for adults and £2 for under-16s for those without a season ticket.

Wanderers: Emery; Worley, Kellaway, Strachan, Collins; Grayson (c), Davies; Davis, Newman, Ford-Robinson; Betteridge, Jubb; Laxton, Onojaife, Eadie.
Replacements: Taylor, Trinder, Garside, McNulty, Tupai, Povey, Freeman, Dayes.

Newcastle Falcons: Arscott; Passman, Bettencourt, Matavesi, Wacokecoke; Swiel, Nordli-Kelemeti; Brocklebank, Socino, Mavinga; Young, Cavubati; Farrar, Collett, Uzokwe.
Replacements: Blamire, Woodward (Newcastle University), Caudle (Junior Academy), Ransom (Newcastle University), Marshall, Elliott, Wilson, Pascoe (Junior Academy).