AFTER Saturday's surprise cup defeat in Wales the Cornish Pirates return to RFU Championship action tomorrow night with the long trek to Kingston Park and a date with league leaders Newcastle Falcons (8pm).
The Pirates surrendered their six-game winning run in their 17-12 loss to Carmarthen Quins and will need to quickly rediscover the form which helped them briefly into the play-off zone over the Christmas period.
Now lying fifth but still very much in contention to compete in the Championship knock-out stages in May, the Pirates will face a formidable Falcons unit which has yet to lose since being relegated from the Premiership last season.
Dean Richards' side remain firm favourites to secure promotion back to the top flight at the first attempt and ground the Pirates down at the Mennaye Field in September securing a 25-3 win.
Following several days of snowfall on Tyneside there is a doubt as to whether the game will go ahead as planned.
Pirates' boss Ian Davies admits that despite the Falcons' 100 per cent record in the league he is relishing the challenge they pose this week.
"It's probably a good time to play them right now but such is the depth in their squad you can never underestimate them," he explained.
Prop Alan Paver completes his suspension after this game so remains unavailable with Number 8 Laurie McGlone also unlikely to play as he recovers from injury.
Paver was given a three-week ban after being charged with punching or striking against Bristol on January 1.
Grant Pointer is waiting for the results of a knee scan following his injury in Wales on Saturday and Under-20 internationals Sam Hill and JJ Kilmartin are doubtful as they complete training weeks with their national squads.
Cornish Pirates (from): Kilmartin, Riley, Fatialofa, Hallett, Bedford, Andrew, Elloway, Prescott, Lyons, B.Maidment, Storer, Semmens, Barry, Kessell, Cheesman, Joyce, Mercer, Davies, Cattle, Marriott, Tyas, Hambly, Duncan, Hill, Evans, Pointer, Johnson, M.Maidment, Burgess