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A battle for 'Tank': Newcastle Falcons fundraise for former player

Newcastle Falcons greats of years gone by are turning out at Kingston Park (FRI 22nd APRIL) to raise money for Paul Van-Zandvliet and brain cancer research.

Former player Paul Van-Zandvliet, known as 'Tank', was a member of the Falcons' 1997-98 Premiership title-winning side - but has now being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

'Tankie's Battle' will see a Falcons Legends team taking on a North East Select XV.

It'll feature Dean Ryan, Gary Armstrong, Garath Archer, Pat Lam, Jim Naylor, Stuart Legg and Steve O'Neill.

Tank himself is also aiming to play some part in the proceedings alongside his son, Leon.

  • Micky Ward
  • Dave Walder
  • Jason Oakes
  • Carlo del Fava
  • Michael Stephenson
  • Jimmy Cartmell
  • Mike Wood
  • Andy Perry
  • Billy Balshen
  • Phil Godman
  • Stuart Grimes

Funds raised on the night will go to a trust fund set up for Van-Zandvliet's daughter, Hope Elle.

Money will also be donated to both the RVI and Freeman Hospitals, plus Restart Rugby, the official charity of the Rugby Players' Association.

Find out more about the match here

Paul Van-Zandvliet playing for Newcastle in 1998 Credit: PA (library image)

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Lawson signs new two-year contract with Falcons

Scott Lawson has signed a new two-year contract with Newcastle Falcons Credit: Newcastle Falcons

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.

– Scott Lawson

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.

– Dean Richards, Director of Rugby

Newcastle Falcons sign Argentine Belisario Agulla

Belisario Agulla Credit: Newcastle Falcons

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."

– Dean Richards, Falcons Director of Rugby

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."

– Belisario Agulla

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."

– Belisario Agulla
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