Last season: 8th
Home ground: Kingston Park (211 miles)
Newcastle Falcons defied expectations to finish a highly respectable eighth in the Premiership, their best finish since 2006.
Many pundits expected Falcons to struggle again, they had not finished outside of the bottom two since 2010 before this season, but memorable wins against Northampton, Harlequins and Gloucester ensured they were the campaign’s surprise package.
This season could be more difficult for Director of Rugby Dean Richards with speedster Marcus Watson on his way to Wasps but Falcons have quality all over the pitch.
Richards has also not sat idly, signing high quality players such as Maxime Mermoz and former England international fly-half Toby Flood to add to a squad including recent England tourist Mark Wilson.
Falcons have also been able to keep hold of key players Sinoti Sinoti, powerful No. 8 Opeti Fonua and Juan Pablo Socino, and will look to make a challenge for the top six having finished just three points off Saints.
Ins and Outs:
Maxime Mermoz (Toulon), Josh Matavesi (Ospreys), Joel Matavesi (Redruth), D.T.H. van der Merwe (Scarlets), Ryan Burrows (Yorkshire Carnegie), Sami Mavinga (Lyon), Gary Graham (Jersey Reds), Sam Stuart (Richmond), Tevita Cavubati (Worcester Warriors), Toby Flood (Toulouse), Cameron Cowell (England Sevens)
Marcus Watson (Wasps), Ben Harris (Wasps), Sam Egerton (retired), Adam Powell (retired), David Nelson (Doncaster Knights), Andrew Foster (Rotherham Titans), Daniel Temm (Ealing Trailfinders), Tom Catterick (retired)
Last season v Wasps:
Premiership Round 7: Wasps 31-6 Newcastle Falcons
Premiership Round 12: Newcastle Falcons 30-34 Wasps
Dates for the diary:
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons: November 18 2017; 16:30
Newcastle Falcons v Wasps: May 5 2018; kick-off to be confirmed