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Newcastle ready for European Cup return after 13-year absence

Friday 12th October 2018

4:47 pm (GMT)

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Harris

Newcastle Falcons centre Chris Harris

Newcastle Falcons travel to Stade Felix-Mayol to face three-time European Cup winners RC Toulon in their first match in Europe’s elite club competition since 2005 on Sunday, live on BT Sport and beIN SPORTS from 15:15 BST.

  • This will be the first tournament fixture between RC Toulon and Newcastle, however they did meet in the Challenge Cup pool stage in 2011/12 with both sides picking up home wins.
  • Toulon have lost their last two games, but have never lost three consecutive matches in the competition.
  • This will be Newcastle’s third campaign in the European Cup and their first since 2004/05 when Jonny Wilkinson, later a two-time champion with Toulon, featured for Falcons on their way to the quarter-finals.
  • Toulon made more carries (153) per game than any other side last season, gaining the most metres (483) and beating the most defenders (26.6) on average.
  • Newcastle’s Adam Radwan gained the most metres (644), beat the most defenders (45) and most the joint most breaks (13, level with Henry Purdy) of any player in the Challenge Cup last season.

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Newcastle stun three-time champions Toulon to make history 

Sunday 14th October 2018

5:37 pm (GMT)

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Joel Hodgson was instrumental for Newcastle in their historic win over Toulon in the Heineken Champions Cup.

Newcastle Falcons pulled off one of the biggest shocks in European rugby history to beat RC Toulon at Stade Mayol 26-25 in the opening round of the Heineken Champions Cup. 

The English side become just the second side to beat Toulon on their own turf and join Saracens in an elite club. 

Toulon ‚Äď who have never failed to progress from the pool stage – got off to the dream start, scoring after just 21 seconds, courtesy of Romain¬†Taofifenua¬†charging down Micky Young‚Äôs box kick.¬†France international Francois Trinh-Duc added the extras and later slotted over a penalty to give the home side a 10-0 lead.¬†

But Newcastle bounced back immediately, with hooker Kyle Cooper bulldozing over after excellent phase work from the forwards.¬†Joel Hodgson ‚Äď who was sublime throughout at fly-half ‚Äď converted the try and added two penalties to put his side 16-10 up.¬†

Toulon captain Raphael Lakafia got his side back into the match by crossing over just before half-time. Trinh-Duc failed to convert, so the French giants went into the break 16-15 down. 

The second half produced constant drama and Newcastle were awarded a penalty try after Sinoti Sinoti was tackled high, which resulted in full-back Daniel Ikpefan being sin-binned. 

Hodgson joined the Frenchman in the bin a few minutes later, after deliberately knocking the ball on, and Toulon took advantage straightaway, scoring courtesy of Guirado smashing through Falcons’ defence. Trinh-Duc converted the hooker’s try and slotted a penalty to put the French outfit into the lead. 

With minutes remaining, Julian Savea was shown a yellow card by referee Ben Whitehouse and Hodgson kicked the penalty to give Newcastle the lead. 

The away side hung on in a raucous atmosphere and in their first match in Europe’s elite club competition in 13 years, claimed a monumental victory. 

Newcastle host Montpellier at Kingston Park next Sunday, while Toulon travel to Edinburgh on Saturday. 

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