Tait hopes home comforts can aid Newcastle's fight for survival

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The Independent Online

Newcastle will begin a four-game bid for Premiership survival when they host European title contenders Northampton tonight. The Falcons swapped places with Leeds Carnegie last weekend after they lost 30-29 to the Yorkshire club in a dramatic Kingston Park relegation tussle. The defeat left Newcastle bottom of the Premiership, one point behind Leeds with a game in hand, although three of Newcastle's last four league fixtures are at home – against Northampton, Leicester and Bath.

"At one point behind and four games to go, it is still in our own hands," said Newcastle No 8 Ally Hogg.

The Falcons head coach, Alan Tait, has made three changes from the Leeds loss, calling up full-back Tom Catterick, wing Gcobani Bobo and centre James Fitzpatrick, with Saints fielding 14 of the side that accounted for Heineken Cup quarter-final opponents Ulster four days ago.

Northampton will move above Gloucester into third place if they win tonight, with the West Country club visiting leaders Leicester tomorrow and then hosting Saints in a rearranged Premiership fixture next Tuesday night.