Newcastle bolster pack with double signing ahead of next season


Newcastle Falcons have continued their recruitment drive ahead of next season with the signings of Coventry back-row Josh Bainbridge and Bristol Bears hooker Bryan Byrne.

The 27-year-old Bainbridge will arrive at Kingston Park from the Championship at the end of the season on a two year contract, the same deal as the 29-year-old Byrne.

With one game remaining this season in the Gallagher Premiership for the Falcons, against second place Sale Sharks, they are already guaranteed to finish bottom of the league, so preparations are already being made for next campaign.

Looking ahead at his move up a division into the Premiership, Bainbridge said: “I’m really excited about the opportunity of coming to Newcastle Falcons, and I realise it’s a pretty big step up from the Championship to Premiership rugby.

“I know quite a few boys up at Newcastle so that will be helpful to begin with, and it’s just a great chance for me which I’m determined to take. I played with Josh Barton at Coventry, I know Callum Chick, Brett Connon and Seb de Chaves, and it sounds like a good group.”

After three years at Ashton Gate with Bristol, former Ireland under-20 international Byrne said: “It’s a really exciting opportunity to come to Newcastle, which I’m looking forward to.

“I spoke on the phone with Alex Codling who is coming in as the new head coach, and he was talking about the vision for the club. That’s definitely something I want to be a part of, and the brand of rugby that Newcastle are playing is really exciting.

“You’ve got that mixture of really talented young players and a tough forward pack, which was very appealing for me. I’ve played against the Falcons quite a few times – it’s never an easy fixture and I’m really enthusiastic about being a part of things up there.”

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