Coach: Dean Richards Last season: Didn’t qualify How they qualified: 4th in Premiership/semi-finalists Recruitments: Like Toby Flood last season, so too George McGuigan has returned from Leicester to revive a career that once had him touted as an English hooker. Maxime Mermoz has returned to Toulouse.
Key man: Niki Goneva. The 34-year-old was voted last year’s player of the season and with the sidestepping Sinotti Sinotti gives the Falcons a real cutting edge
This season’s formguide :LLWLL. Prospects: Four close defeats this season suggest they slightly over-achieved last season. Making first appearance in the Cup since they quarter-finalists in 2005, they’ll do well to emerge from this group.