Falcons look to avoid the drop
Newcastle captain James Hudson is delighted the Falcons will be in control of their own destiny when they fight for Aviva Premiership survival.
A bonus-point victory at Adams Park - and denying opponents Wasps a losing one in the process - on Saturday (kick-off 2pm) would preserve Newcastle's top-flight status and leave their opponents sweating on relegation.
Whichever club finishes bottom, they then face an agonising wait to discover whether or not this season's eventual Championship winners meet Premiership entry criteria.
Bristol, London Welsh, Cornish Pirates and Bedford are still contesting that piece of silverware, with the champions not being crowned for another 26 days. If it is not Bristol, then Newcastle or Wasps could be safe.
"It would be incorrect to say at this stage that the team finishing 12th is relegated," a Premiership Rugby spokesman said.
"Relegation can only be confirmed after the RFU Championship final second leg on May 30, once the winner of that final is known.
"We expect to make a joint announcement with the RFU over eligibility for promotion to Aviva Premiership Rugby before the first leg of that RFU Championship final play-off."
Newcastle have enjoyed a revival under interim rugby director Gary Gold - he passes the baton to Dean Richards for next season - collecting 11 points from their last five league fixtures, including a win at Gloucester.
"For the first time in the last three or four months our destiny is in our own hands, and that is a huge thing for us as a team," Hudson said,
"We have been putting in consistent performances in recent weeks and we have been getting the results during this run-in.
"We are now in a position where we are not waiting on other results and we know exactly what we have to do. It is all down to this one game.
"There are no distractions to what we are trying to achieve this weekend, which is great. We can go into the game focused on what we need to do.
"It is a good position to be in, it has to be said."
Despite Hudson's optimism, Wasps still occupy the box seat this weekend as they look to salvage Premiership safety from a dismal injury-ravaged campaign.
Wasps rugby director David Young said: "The focus tomorrow is simply on winning the game, and if we do that then everything else will take care of itself.
"I have no doubt Newcastle will come here full of belief they can do the job they need to, so it is up to us to make sure we are in control."
Wasps have received a major boost, with captain Marco Wentzel returning to the second-row after injury.
Wentzel is one of three changes, with Joe Launchbury moving to the back-row, Sam Jones wearing the number seven shirt and Richard Haughton featuring at full-back.
Newcastle are unchanged from the side beaten by Saracens two weeks ago as they fight for Premiership survival at Adams Park.
Half-backs Jimmy Gopperth and Peter Stringer will be key to those hopes, along with international forwards Euan Murray and Ally Hogg.