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Jonny Wilkinson announces his retirement

Jonny Wilkinson Credit: PA

Former England and Newcastle Falcons rugby star Jonny Wilkinson has announced his retirement from the sport.

The 34-year-old confirmed in a statement he will hang up his boots at the end of the season.

Wilkinson most famously kicked the last-minute drop goal to seal England's World Cup victory against Australia in 2003. he played for Newcastle Falcons from 1997 to 2009.

Richards relishing World Cup in Newcastle

Newcastle Falcons boss Dean Richards says next year's Rugby World Cup will "open a few people's eyes".

Newcastle has been chosen as one of 11 host cities for the tournament with Scotland, South Africa and New Zealand all playing matches at St James' Park in October 2015.

Today the Rugby World Cup trophy - the Webb Ellis Cup - came to Kingston Park as part of a UK tour.

Falcons head coach to leave

Newcastle Falcons head coach Peter Russell will be leaving the club for personal reasons at the end of the current season. Russell arrived on Tyneside in the summer of 2012 from New Zealand and in his first season, Newcastle sealed promotion back to the top-flight in convincing fashion.

He implemented free-flowing attacking rugby in the North East, a feature of the game that Russell is renowned for promoting in his homeland.

Falcons Falter in European Challenge Cup

Newcastle Falcons have had a setback in their bid to reach the knock-out stage of the European Challenge Cup.

Falcons lost to French side, Brive, by 9 points to 7 at Kingston Park tonight (Thursday).

Around two and a half thousand supporters at Kingston Park watched a frustrating match.

Falcons scored the only try of the game, but Brive went through thanks to three penalties - in a match of inconsistent refereeing decisions.

With the qualifying group tight, tonight's tie was effectively a 'winner takes all' contest for a place in the Quarter-Finals.

Brive now head Pool 3, with one round of games to play.

NEWCASTLE FALCONS 7 BRIVE 9

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Newcastle Falcons away to Exeter in the Premiership

After a fortnight of European rugby, the Newcastle Falcons are back to business in the Premiership, away to Exeter this weekend.

Exeter have established themselves in the top flight since promotion a few years ago and now compete at the top level of European rugby.

Director of Rugby Dean Richards said Exeter provide a decent blueprint for what the Falcons could also achieve.

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