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The Newcastle Falcons (formerly Gosforth FC/Newcastle Gosforth until 1996) is a rugby union team currently playing in the Guinness Premiership. The club was established in 1877 and they play at Kingston Parkmarker stadium in Kingston Park, Newcastle upon Tynemarker. The Falcons have been the biggest and most successful club in northern Englandmarker with 1 Premiership and 4 domestic cups to their name.

History

The original Gosforth Football Club was founded in 1877 by a group of Old Boys of Durham Schoolmarker, in whose colours of green and white hoops the club played until the mid-1990s. In 1955, the club moved to a new ground at North Road which was to be its home until 1990. During that time and particularly in the late 1970s Gosforth enjoyed tremendous success both on and off the field winning the John Player Cup in seasons 1975/76 and 76/77.

Gosforth supplied innumerable players to all counties over the years, to the North of England sides and to the full international and British Lions teams. These include Arthur Smith, Ray McLoughlin, Malcolm Young, Roger Uttley, Peter Dixon, Duncan Madsen, Dave Robinson, Richard Breakey, Jim Pollock and Colin White.

In 1990 the club name was changed to Newcastle Gosforth and they moved to Kingston Park. Gosforth Rugby Club continued as an amateur side working in partnership with Northumbria University.

The name Newcastle Falcons and the current black-and-white colours were adopted for the 1996/97 season, after local businessman Sir John Hall had taken control and attempted to create a sporting club in Newcastle upon Tynemarker that would emulate the success of Barcelona. The four teams that made up the sporting club were the football team, nicknamed the Magpies, the Newcastle Eagles basketball team, the Newcastle Wasps (later Riverkings, Jokers, Vipers etc.) ice hockey team and the Newcastle Falcons rugby union team.

Newcastle was the first fully “professional” club in the world. In 1995, Sir John Hall installed former Wasps’ captain, Rob Andrew, as his salaried Director of Rugby and saw the club earn promotion from the national Second Division to the Premiership. The following season, Newcastle became English champions at their first attempt. The following season Newcastle didnt play in Europe as English teams did not take part but they did go onto the Tetley’s Bitter Cup final against Wasps which they lost.

Hall sold the Falcons for a 'nominal' sum in 1999 to current owner Dave Thompson and since then Newcastle have won two Powergen Cups in 2001 (against Harlequins) and 2004 (against Sale).

In August 2005 Falcons toured Japan pre-season. They beat NEC Green Rockets easily but lost to a fired-up Toyota Verblitz.

In August 2006 Rob Andrew left the Falcons to be in overall charge of the England set-up ahead of the 2007 World Cup in a wide-ranging role that encompasses all aspects of the professional representative game in England. John Fletcher succeeded Rob Andrew as director of rugby at Newcastle Falcons with immediate effect. Fletcher, a former England A centre, had been the club's academy boss and he headed up a team of Peter Walton, Steve Black and Bob Morton, with ex-Falcons prop Ian Peel taking over as acting academy manager.

On 11 March 2008, Fletcher and Walton left the club, officially by mutual consent, following Black who had left a couple of months earlier. Steve Bates took over as interim Director of Rugby until the summer of 2008 when the post was reviewed. Dave Thompson stated that nine years of underachievement were the reason for the departure of John Fletcher and Peter Walton.

Having said this, Bates guided the Falcons to a record-equalling run of seven consecutive Premiership defeats by April 2008 with home games against Leicester Tigers and London Wasps plus a season-concluding away trip to Worcester Warriors yet to come. Defeat in the ECC semi-final against Worcester Warriors on 25 April 2008 may well have sounded the death knell for Steve Bates' tenure as interim DoR. However, on Tuesday 20 May 2008 Steve Bates was confirmed as Newcastle's Director of Rugby on a full-time basis.

Club information

Stadium

Newcastle Falcons play at Kingston Park which holds 10,200. The recent poor performances by the Falcons has made attendance lower than last season. Traditionally the South Stand is where the loudest fans stand and sing. The stadium has three modern stands (1 open-air standing, 1 enclosed standing and a main stand which is all-seater) but kept the original Gosforth stand with the green and white seating (Gosforth colours). Kingston Park is the second smallest stadium in the Guinness Premiership and must be extended to accommodate 15,000 by 2010 according to new RFU rules but currently the local council oppose the plan which has lead to speculation about the future of the club in Newcastle.

Kits

The team wears all black for home games and all white for away games. This season the club changed their shirt provider from Nike to the Cotton Traders. During the years known as Gosforth the team played in green and white hoops.

Records



Historic League Positions

Season Final Position Points
1997-1998 - Allied Dunbar Premiership 1st 38
1998-1999 - Allied Dunbar Premiership 8th 28
1999-2000 - Allied Dunbar Premiership 9th 20
2000-2001 - Zurich Premiership 6th 57
2001-2002 - Zurich Premiership 6th 56
2002-2003 - Zurich Premiership 10th 40
2003-2004 - Zurich Premiership 10th 40
2004-2005 - Zurich Premiership 7th 47
2005-2006 - Guinness Premiership 7th 47
2006-2007 - Guinness Premiership 9th 44
2007-2008 - Guinness Premiership 11th 37
2008-2009 - Guinness Premiership 10th 44


Club honours



Current standings

2009–10 European Challenge Cup

Newcastle will play US Montauban, Petrarca Padova Rugby and SC Albi in Pool 5 of the European Challenge Cup.

2009–10 Anglo-Welsh Cup

Newcastle Falcons are in Pool 2 and will play Harlequins, London Waspsmarker, Worcester Warriors and Cardiff Blues.

Current squad 2009-2010

 


2009/2010 Transfers





Current England Saxons Squad



Internationally Capped Players



Current Coaching Staff

  • Director of Rugy: Steve Bates
  • Assistant Coach: Alan Tait
  • Assistant Coach: Stuart Grimes
  • Assistant Coach: Ian Peel
  • Strength & Conditioning Coach: Mark Wilkinson
  • Strength & Conditioning Coach: Bob Morton
  • Junior Academy Manager: Mark Laycock
Apprenticeship Manager (AASE): Ed Midcalf

Notable former players



External links




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