TOP try-scorer Adam Radwan returns to Newcastle Falcons’ starting line-up tomorrow as Dean Richards’ side attempt to maintain their 100 per cent record when they host promotion rivals Cornish Pirates at Kingston Park.

The winger has claimed nine tries in 11 appearances for the Greene King IPA Championship leaders this season, and returns as one of two changes to the starting line-up against third-placed Pirates.

The other switch sees Toby Flood slot in at inside-centre, with Johnny Williams sliding along one place to cover for the injured George Wacokecoke.

Newcastle were 18-9 winners when they last met the Pirates in Penzance at the back end of October, with Richards expecting another stern test against a side who have lost just three of their 12 league matches.

“Cornish Pirates are a big physical side, and we know what to expect from them,” said Falcons’ director of rugby. “They’ll challenge us up front probably more so than any team we’ll face all season, and then on top of that they have a well-drilled set of backs who offer an attack which is different to any side in this league.

“Without saying too much, we believe there are gaps in their defence that we can look to exploit, but we’ll just keep our powder dry on that and see what we can do on the day.

“I like their Argentinean fly-half who sometimes plays at centre for them, I think their captain is a very good player and they’ve got some very capable lads in their squad. It’ll definitely be a big test for us, and it should be a great occasion for people to come down and be part of.”

Falcons go into round 13 of 22 with their unbeaten record still intact, having chalked up another maximum five-point haul in last weekend’s 26-5 triumph at Hartpury.

“There’s some good rugby played by good players in this league,” added Richards. “And we enjoy being tested in different ways.

“Hartpury last weekend played the kind of wide-to-wide game that not many other sides in this division can match, and it was good to see how we dealt with that. Bedford and London Scottish in the rain was a slightly different proposition, and then at home we have generally started games pretty well and scored some good tries.

“The boys are doing really well at the moment – they’ve won every single game - the thing they need to do is to just repeat it time and time again.

“I’m not saying the players are finding it easy, because they’re not. The teams we’re playing against are difficult nuts to crack, but when we do get on a roll, we’re managing to keep it going for longer than we typically would do during a Premiership season.”

Tomorrow’s men’s game, which kicks off at 3pm, forms part of a double-header, with Falcons’ women’s team taking on Exeter Chiefs at 11.30am.

Newcastle Falcons: Arscott, Radwan, Williams, Flood, Sinoti, Connon, Young; Mulipola, McGuigan, Daniels, Peterson, Robinson, Chick, Welch, Nagusa.

Replacements: Blamire, Davison, Ah You, de Chaves, Graham, Takulua, Stevenson, Owen.