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  1. Phil Roscoe

Wilkinson in Newcastle for Rugby World Cup countdown

England's Rugby World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson has been back in Newcastle to mark the countdown to next year's tournament.

It's exactly one year to go until St James' Park stages it's first game of Rugby World Cup 2015. New Zealand, South Africa and Scotland are the teams competing in Group matches at the stadium.

Wilkinson, who played for Newcastle Falcons from 1997 to 2009, was at Newcastle Racecourse today.


Wilkinson drops the World Cup

Jonny Wilkinson Credit: PA

England World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson was left red-faced when he dropped the World Cup at an event in Newcastle.

The stumble was greeted with a huge gasp from the onlooking crowd as the base of the Webb Ellis Cup gave way.

Rugby World Cup winner Wilkinson was at Newcastle Racecourse to mark a year to the day that the competition is played in the city.

South Africa will play Scotland in the first St James' Park fixture in October 2015.

Jonny Wilkinson comes to Newcastle

onny Wilkinson during the Heineken Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

Rugby World Cup 2003 winner and England Rugby 2015 ambassador Jonny Wilkinson is in Newcastle to mark one year to go until the first Rugby World Cup 2015 match, South Africa v Scotland, is played at St James' Park.

The one year to go milestone also coincides with the city hosting their regional 'Try Outs'; the selection events for 'The Pack', the 6,000 Rugby World Cup 2015 volunteers that will help to welcome the world to England and the Game of rugby next year.

Jonny Wilkinson will be in attendance at the event, along with the Webb Ellis Cup, to meet volunteers and experience the selection process first hand, having helped launch the search for the volunteers back in February.

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 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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