NEWCASTLE FALCONS: S Hammersley, A Tait, C Harris, JP Socino, G Venditti, C Willis, M Young; R Vickers, S Lawson, T Vea, M Wilson, S Robinson, W Welch (captain), N Latu
, A Hogg.
Tonga captain Nili Latu
replaces Will Welch at open-side flanker, Ally Hogg captaining the side after replacing Richard Mayhew in the back-row.
NEWCASTLE FALCONS: S Hammersley, A Tait, C Harris, A Powell (JP Socino, 58), M Watson, A Goode (C Willis, 65), M Young; R Vickers, S Lawson (G McGuigan, 65), T Vea (K Hatakeyama, 65), M Wilson, S Robinson, W Welch (captain), N Latu
, A Hogg.
MATCH FACTS NEWCASTLE FALCONS: S Hammersley, A Tait, C Harris, JP Socino, M Watson, C Willis (A Goode, 55), M Young; R Vickers, S Lawson (G McGuigan, 45), P Ryan (T Vea, 45), M Wilson, S Robinson, W Welch (captain), N Latu
(T Clever, 65), A Hogg.
Arriving at the Falcons after eight seasons in Japanese club rugby, Latu
's Newcastle debut appears to have been accelerated by the head knock which forced club captain Will Welch from the field during last week's 39-27 loss to Gloucester.
Unbeaten in their last four at home in all competitions, it took a 75th minute penalty to sink them at Wasps last weekend, a game in which Latu
scored the only try.
Tonga had it as close as 14-6 at one stage in the second of Newcastle's three games in the tournament, Latu
insisting a strong start was always in the script.
| Newcastle's Nili Latu
says the Falcons are remaining optimistic despite their lowly Premiership position; left, Kingston Park director of rugby Dean Richards
"That was much earlier in the season and with a different team, so it is not hugely relevant," said Welch, who starts at open-side with Nili Latu
packing down at No 8.
COVENTRY RUGBY: Jack Higgins, Phil Nilsen, David Langley, Cameron Gray, Tom Jubb, Latu
Makaafi, Freddie Betteridge, Dan Faleafa, Will Flinn, Dan Lewis, James Neal, Sam Tuitupou, Max Titchener, Kwaku Asiedu, Cameron Sharpe.
Replacements: Phil Nilsen, Charlie Beech, Donald Brighouse, Tom Jubb, Latu
Makaafi, Pete White, Dan Lewis
Replacements: Polota-Nau for Latu
(49) 6, Ainsley for Sio (67) 6, Alaalatoa for Kepu (57) 6, Simmons for Coleman (69) 7, Hanigan for Samu (57) 6, Phipps for Genia (69) 6, Naivalu for Maddocks (40) 6, Koroibete for Naivalu (73) 6.