Newcastle Falcons are excited at the prospect of facing Enisei STM in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.
The Falcons welcome the Russian club to Kingston Park on Sunday. The return fixture then takes place in Sochi in January.
The club's Director of Rugby, Dean Richards, said the team are looking forward to playing the Siberian club for the first time.
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Scottish international hooker Scott Lawson has agreed a new two-year contract with Newcastle Falcons.
Since arriving at Kingston Park from London Irish at the start of the 2013/14 season, Lawson has made 46 appearances, 39 of which were starts.
The hooker missed only two of the club's fixtures last season, playing a total of 1,229 minutes and earning a nomination for the fans’ Star of the Season award as a result.
Having been here for two years and at the start of something, it’s really good to be involved in the continuation of getting the Falcons back to where they want to be. A longer stay was something I wanted to happen and now that it has, it feels good to be valued as part of that process.
I’m delighted from a professional and personal point of view about staying at Newcastle. As soon as my family moved here it was a quite good fit and we all settled in well, so it’s nice that this will be home for a while longer.
Scotty has been an important person in our squad since his arrival, which so much experience both at Aviva Premiership and international level. He brings with him all the ability and commitment you’d expect from someone of his calibre.
He’s contribution goes beyond what he does on the field himself, with the younger hookers at the club benefiting from having him around. It’s great news that he’ll be here with us for another couple of years.
Newcastle Falcons have announced the signing of Argentine international Belisario Agulla.
The 27-year-old, who has to date received 11 caps for Los Pumas, moves to the North East after four years with Top 14 side Agen.
Capable of playing at Centre, Wing or Full Back, Agulla began his career with Buenos Aires-based side Hindú while also playing for Pampas XV in South Africa’s Vodacom Cup.
The younger brother of Bath back Horacio, Agulla now arrives at Kingston Park Stadium where he will join up with countrymen Gonzalo Tiesi and Juan Pablo Socino.
We're pleased to welcome Belisario to the club, not only is he a versatile player who can play at either wing or centre but he adds further international strength to the squad.
Belisario is a talented, fast and dynamic player who we’re certain will suit our pitch and who we’re sure will complement our existing group of players."
Speaking shortly after his arrival in the North East Agulla said he's very happy to be here and joining the Falcons.
I like to run with the ball in hand, and to do anything I can to help my team win. If doing that gets me some tries along the way then that's great."
Having arrived in the North East less than a week ago, Agulla had high hopes of what to expect after speaking with countrymen and fellow Falcons Gonzalo Tiesi and Juan Pablo Socino.
They've told me lots of nice things about Newcastle and the club and so far from what I’ve seen it’s a very nice city, but there’s still a lot for me to explore."
Newcastle Falcons have confirmed that Uili Kolo’ofai has left the club by mutual agreement between the two parties.
Kolo’ofai signed for the Falcons in summer 2014 from French side US Colomiers but as a result of injury made only three appearances.
"Uili has had a frustrating season with regards to injuries and we share his disappointment about the amount of game time he has missed as a result.
“As a club we need to encourage consistency within the squad and although Uili has made a significant contribution when he has appeared for the club both parties agreed that it is necessary to part ways to ensure that consistency.
“Uili leaves with our very best wishes for the Rugby World Cup and beyond, and our thanks for his contribution to the club both on and off the field during his year in the North East.”
Kolo’ofai will represent Tonga in the upcoming Rugby World Cup after a late call up to the national squad.
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Newcastle Rugby have confirmed they have bought Kingston Park Stadium from Northumbria University.Read the full story ›
Newcastle Falcons resume their campaign in rugby union's premiership on Saturday, with a trip away to London irish.
The Falcons are currently in 11th place in the table, while the Exiles are in 10th.
Newcastle Director of Rugby Dean Richards has been looking ahead to the match:
Newcastle Falcons' Director of Rugby Dean Richards has agreed a new three year contract that will extend his tenure at the club till June 2018.
Richards joined the club in 2012 and in his first season guided the club to promotion back in to the Aviva Premiership.
Season 2013-14 saw the Falcons achieve their aim of staying in the Premiership.
The current season has seen the club already amass more points and tries than the previous campaign as well as a place in the European Challenge Cup quarter finals.
“I’m delighted to have agreed this extension at the club. We are building a strong and sustainable club here at Newcastle and I’m particularly pleased at how the players, coaching staff and off-field staff have bought into our vision. We have come a fair way over the past three years but there is still a great deal of work to do before we start to realise our potential. However I am confident that the club is in good shape and we will really start to see the benefits of a lot of good work over the next few seasons."
We are very pleased that Dean has agreed to continue as Director of Rugby for the next three years. As the most successful Director of Rugby in Premiership history he brings tremendous experience, knowledge as well as a winning mentality to the club. He is central to the continued growth of Newcastle Falcons over what will be a very exciting period for the club game in England. What he understands better than anyone is how to balance the longer term planning with the need to put in the right performance on the next weekend’s game. His work in bringing through quality, young English qualified players is already starting to have an impact performance wise for the first team. Similarly the culture that he has instilled throughout the team and coaching staff is first class and is something will continue to develop and benefit Newcastle Falcons moving forward.”
Newcastle Falcons are expecting a tough encounter against Premiership side Leicester Tigers this weekend.
The Falcons face Leicester at Kingston Park on Sunday. Speaking ahead of the game, Falcons boss Dean Richards said:
They love to dominate up front so whatever happens our pack is going to have to be up for it on the day.