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Young prospect makes his Blaydon bow
AFTER earning high praise on his first appearance for Newcastle Falcons last week, Yarm School winger Zach Kibirige makes another debut today, for Blaydon.
The fact that he is still at school would be one reason why he wasn't in the Falcons squad for last night's British and Irish Cup match against Connacht in Athlone.
Dean Richards did, in any case, opt to recall most of his big guns and there was also no place for James Fitzpatrick, who is on Blaydon's bench for the visit of Old Albanians.
The powerful centre played for Westoe and Blaydon before being snapped up by Newcastle but is concerned about his lack of game time, especially as the Falcons A team have no game for four weeks.
Fitzpatrick partnered Blaydon's Charles Incledon in Monday's Aviva A League 30-13 win at Worcester, a match which also featured two more of today's line-up in flanker Ben Morris and prop James Hallam.
Durham University student Hallam replaces Robbie Kalbraier, who suffered a thigh injury in last week's win at Wharfedale but may be fit enough for bench duties.
Scrum-half Andy Davies, who made way for Hall Charlton last week because of flu, is also on the bench.
Frazer Wilson is rested to make way for Kibirige, who was born in Middlesbrough and is studying for his A-Levels at Yarm.
"The Falcons and my teachers are working well together and they are giving me the time and information to do everything I need to," he said.
"I train Monday and Thursday nights with the Falcons' junior academy, and my school give me all day Tuesday off to train with the first team."
As Joel Hodgson was on the bench for the Falcons last night, Tynedale could again be without a recognised goal-kicker for their tough match at Rosslyn Park.
Darlington Mowden Park will be seeking their seventh successive win in National Two North when they entertain Luctonians.
The Herefordshire club have won five out of seven and are expected to provide formidable opposition up front.
Young prop Ben Simpson retains his place for Mowden and Yorkshire Under 20s player Henry Forbes makes his first start at lock as Chris Campbell suffered a shoulder injury last week.
The rotation policy in the backs sees Max Connon come in at full back with Richie Young stepping down. Back five forward Tom Schofield is available for bench duties.
Westoe are at home to Dudley Kingswinford, and could hand a debut to Samoan international wing Lome Fa'atau as well as newly-signed Bridlington centre Gareth Roberts. Fa'atau's registration has been granted by the RFU, but they are awaiting his release papers from his previous club in Italy.
Michael Hogan retains his place in West's second row following Craig Gilmour's decision to return to Horden.
Ryan Painter is unavailable so Andrew Foreman is at scrum half position, while David Heckles returns at full back and Colin Cheslin on the wing.
After climbing into fourth place through four successive wins, Billingham will be tested by the visit of second-placed Chester.
Middlesbrough will be without both first-choice centres for the tough match at Sheffield in North One East as Rob Bellerby suffered a blow on the head last week and joins fractured cheekbone victim Paul Norris on the sidelines.
Lewis Macsween, who scored a try on his debut on the wing last week, switches to partner Rhys Kilbride at centre.
Dave Hinchley, a replacement last week, makes his first start for over a year alongside Lee Theakston in the second row.
Darlington expect to have Tom Wilkinson available to bolster the pack for the first time this season at home to Malton and Norton, with Richard Snowball and Jim Carver returning to the back row. Army man David Styles returns at fly half after being injured in the second game of the season.
Dan Muirhead returns to Stockton's front row so veteran Maurice Douthwaite makes way.
Matt Doherty comes back into the second row, replacing Johnny Cheetham, who made a promising debut last week. Anthony Parkinson and Martin Howe bolster the back row and Marcus Sudron and Craig Slaughter strengthen the threequarters.
Following last season's relegation, and the departure of coaching duo Magnus Leask and Ali McConway, Gateshead lie third after one defeat.
They also play Guisborough and Alnwick in the next three weeks.
Four Newcastle Falcons players have been named in the RFU Championship squad to face the New Zealand Maori All Blacks on Saturday, November 17 in Doncaster. Forwards Will Welch, Jonny Golding and James Hudson are joined by winger Luke Fielden.