Need to Know: Newcastle Falcons v Glasgow Warriors, Challenge Cup match preview 2021/22

KO 8.00 at Kingston Park
Friday 15th April 2022

Live stream on EPCR website for €4.99

During the 21st century, Glasgow have only faced two clubs in knockout matches in Europe – Montpellier:

  • 2003/04 Challenge Cup Round 1
  • 2020/21 Challenge Cup Round of 16

and Saracens:

  • 2003/04 Challenge Cup Round 2
  • 2006/07 Challenge Cup quarter-final
  • 2016/17 Champions Cup quarter-final
  • 2018/19 Champions Cup quarter-final

Playing against Newcastle for the first time ever in a competitive match (with the Falcons becoming the 56th club the Warriors have met in such fixtures) will be a nice change of pace!

  • The Warriors are looking for just their fourth ever win on English soil having lost 26 of their 29 encounters with Premiership sides in European competition.
  • The victories came against Exeter (15-10 in 2013/14); Leicester (43-0 in 2016/17); and Sale (45-7 in 2019/20).
  • This is the oldest matchday 23 XV named by Glasgow this season, with an average age of 27.9 years.
  • Prolific hooker, Johnny Matthews, is the Warrior to Watch.




Tom Penny
Adam Radwan
George Wacokecoke
Luther Burrell
Ben Stevenson
Brett Connon
Louis Schreuder


Josh McKay
Sebastian Cancelliere
Sione Tuipulotu
Sam Johnson
Kyle Steyn
Ross Thompson
Ali Price

Adam Brocklebank
George McGuigan
Trevor Davison
Greg Peterson
Sean Robinson
Josh Basham
Will Welch (c)
Freddie Lockwood


Oli Kebble
Johnny Matthews
Simon Berghan
Scott Cummings
Richie Gray
Ryan Wilson (c)
Thomas Gordon
Rory Darge

Jamie Blamire
Kyle Cooper
Mark Tampin
Will Montgomery
Tom Marshall
C Nordli-Kelemeti
Joel Hodgson
Iwan Stephens


George Turner
Jamie Bhatti
Zander Fagerson

Robert Harley
Ally Miller
Sean Kennedy
Duncan Weir
Ollie Smith

Head to Head:

Back 3 – EVEN
Centres – ADV Glasgow
Half Backs – ADV Glasgow
Front Row – ADV Newcastle
Second Row – ADV Glasgow
Back Row – ADV Glasgow
Subs – ADV Glasgow

Glasgow Greetings:

After signing a contract extension earlier this week, George Turner will make his first appearance in Warriors’ colours for nearly three months. Expect fireworks when he comes off the bench as the hooker only has one setting – full on.

Matchday Milestones:

Ryan Wilson will play his 51st European game for Glasgow, moving him past Gordon Bulloch into sole possession of second place in this stat for the club. Only Rob Harley, who will feature for the 55th time when he is sprung from the bench, still lies ahead of the skipper.

Once A Warrior:

When USA international, Greg Peterson (Warrior number 255) made his Glasgow debut off the bench in 2015 he joined Scott Cummings in the second row for the last six minutes against the Dragons. Remarkably over the four seasons the pair were teammates they only started two matches together but they should still have plenty of knowledge about each other’s games in what will be a good battle at the setpiece and around the park.

Warrior to Watch:

The top try scorers for each of these clubs will be in direct opposition on Friday night. Not Kyle Steyn and Adam Radwan. Not even Sione Tuipulotu and George Wacokecoke. No, in a sign of exactly how modern rugby works right now it’s the respective hookers who are top of the scoring charts!

The Falcons’ George McGuigan has 15 tries in 19 appearances (one for every 91 minutes played). The Warriors’ own Johnny Matthews has bagged 8 in 15 games (one for every 62 minutes played). It has been a real breakthrough season for Johnny with regular starts (after just one in his first two seasons with the club) as well as making his European debut away to La Rochelle earlier in the campaign.

The Scouser is an energetic presence on the pitch. He averages 25.3 carries plus tackles per 80 minutes in the URC with a fairly balanced split between his duties in attack and defence. With a tackle completion rate in excess of 95% and four turnovers won to underscore his threat at the breakdown, there is a lot more to Johnny’s game than just scoring tries.

Past meetings:

Glasgow and Newcastle have only previously met in friendly fixtures:

10/08/01 at Kingston Park:
Newcastle 20 – 3 Glasgow (report)

22/08/03 at Hughenden:
Glasgow 22 – 19 Newcastle (report)

20/09/04 at Hughenden:
Glasgow 26 – 21 Newcastle (report)

27/08/05 at Kingston Park:
Newcastle 32 – 11 Glasgow (report)

21/11/05 at Percy Park:
Newcastle (Academy) 5 – 50 Glasgow (report)

19/08/06 at Burnbrae:
Glasgow 13 – 7 Newcastle (report)

19/08/06 at Burnbrae:
Glasgow 21 – 7 Newcastle (report)

26/08/06 at Kingston Park:
Newcastle 19 – 8 Glasgow (report)

31/08/07 at Firhill:
Glasgow 18 – 13 Newcastle (report)

13/08/11 at Firhill:
Glasgow 17 – 7 Newcastle (report)

03/09/21 at Scotstoun:
Glasgow 7 – 12 Newcastle (report)


Referee: Tual Tranini (France)
AR1: Benoit Rousselet (France)
AR2: no AR2 has been named by EPCR. Anyone got a flag?
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

M. Tranini’s record for 2021/22:

Matches – 11
Average penalty count – 25.5 per game
Home side penalties conceded percentage – 49.6%
Average card count – 1.91 per game
Penalties per card – 13.3

In common with the other French referees that Glasgow have experienced this season, M. Tranini has a high penalty count and a very high card count. That’s not simply as a function of his officiating in the Top 14 either. He sin binned six players across his two previous European outings this season. Two weeks ago he made his debut in the URC and sent off a Scarlets’ player as well as yellow carding two for the visiting side, Cardiff.

Glasgow (and Newcastle) should be well warned to tread carefully or risk facing a potentially game-changing card – or two…

Additional ref stats from:

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