|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|Venue: Altrad Stadium Date: Saturday, 1-2 January Kick-off: 13:00 GMT|
|Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 live Sport extra and Regional radio; live score updates to the BBC Sport website|
Toby Flood returns at flyhalf as Newcastle attempt to repeat October’s super win over Montpellier in Pool Five reverse valve.
Tonga international Sonatane Takulua is in at scrum half while John Hardie and Ryan Burrows enter in to the rear row.
Adam Brocklebank starts at loose-head prop with Trevor Davison shifting to tight-head in position of those injured Logovi’i Mulipola.
Montpellier are led by ex-Northampton number eight Louis Picamoles.
Ex-Ulster scrum-half Ruan Pienaar are at nine for its hosts while Johan Goosen, who controversially’retired’ from the sport in 20-16 before returning only a little over a year after, are at flyhalf.
Goosen’s fellow South African Francois Steyn Are at Fullback.
Newcastle lie in their desk after backtoback defeats by Edinburgh accompanied by an opening-round success at Toulon and also their victory over Montpellier at Kingston Park.
Director of rugby Dean Richards has told his side revel in their underdog status.
“Montpellier certainly are a little bit more consistent in their own performances than Toulon, also there’s no way they will need us gently,” he explained.
“They’ve spent a enormous quantity of money on their group and they have a team of superstars, but we aren’t especially troubled about that.
“We have come up against teams such as this before and beaten themand we’re just going on with the mindset of giving it our best and going all-out for its win.”
Montpellier are ninth in the French Top 14 and have lost three of the last four league games.
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