Newcastle have been braced for "an 80-minute scrap" when they tackle European Challenge Cup opponents Borders on Sunday.
The Falcons will make a short journey north to Galashiels, fully aware of Borders' home pedigree this season following Celtic League victories over the Ospreys and Edinburgh.
Newcastle and Borders both claimed bonus point victories in their opening Pool Four games and an away win for the Falcons would leave them within sight of a quarter-final place.
"Borders will be targeting this particular fixture, and they will be be buoyed by Edinburgh's European Cup win over Wasps last weekend, which was really a shot in the arm for Scottish rugby," said Newcastle coach Ross Nesdale.
"We are playing up in Galashiels on a soft wet pitch and with the clocks going back on Saturday, it means most of the game will be played under lights.
"So we are getting ready for an 80-minute scrap, and hopefully coming out on top.
"Borders play a clever game in the backs, plus with their forwards being so fired up we know they will be a tough proposition and come out with all guns blazing."
Australian rugby league import Paul Franze will make his full debut for London Irish in their Madejski Stadium clash against Italian visitors Parma on Sunday.
Franze forges the Exiles' midfield alongside skipper Mike Catt as Irish look to strengthen their Pool Two position following a superb away win over French club Pau last weekend.
"We have been averaging two tries a game this season and we realise that try bonus points could be crucial as the competition unfolds," said Exiles rugby director Brian Smith.
"Our team has been selected with try scoring in mind and we will be going all out to score some points."
Recalled England squad member Ben Cohen will hope to continue his rich vein of form - six tries in the last four matches - when Northampton visit Pool One rivals Bristol on Sunday.
Saints rugby director Budge Pountney parades 10 internationals in the starting line-up, including Cohen, Carlos Spencer and Bruce Reihana, and expects a fierce battle against a Bristol side buoyed by England World Cup winner Mark Regan's return from injury.
"Bristol have had a great start to the Premiership. They are a tremendously committed side and we are aware that we are in for a real fight on Sunday," said Pountney.
Henry Paul, suspended for disciplinary reasons from Gloucester's trip to Bayonne last weekend, does not feature in the 22 for the Pool Three appointment with Bucuresti at Kingsholm.
But head coach Dean Ryan fields several star names, including England quartet Mike Tindall, James Simpson-Daniel, Phil Vickery and Andy Hazell, against a side he admits Gloucester know very little about.
"They ran Toulon very close last weekend and we are treating this game like we would Bayonne or Toulon because we can afford no mistakes," said Ryan.