Newcastle have confirmed that hooker George McGuigan will leave them at the end of the season after agreeing terms with Leicester Tigers.
McGuigan, 22, joined the Falcons’ Academy as a teenager and signed his first full-time contract with the club at the age of 18 after graduating from the Gosforth Academy AASE Scheme.
Since signing that first contract, he has been afforded many first team opportunities and has made a total of 59 first team appearances for the club to date.
Speaking of McGuigan’s departure, Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “We are bitterly disappointed that George has chosen to leave the club where he began his professional rugby career.”
“Over the last few years we have invested a great deal into George’s development and had high hopes for his future progression at the club and his development into an international player, so it is disappointing to hear that he no longer wishes to be part of what we are building at Newcastle Falcons.
“Having already made over fifty first team appearances, we would have expected George to continue to gain valuable experience by playing regular Aviva Premiership Rugby and enhance his international prospects.”
He added: “While it is a shame to see that development at Kingston Park cease, the vacancy will open opportunities for others to grow here at Newcastle as Mark Wilson and Scott Wilson have done.”
“These two players have represented England against the Barbarians and at Saxons level respectively and alongside Sinoti Sinoti and Juan Pablo Socino, have enjoyed international recognition based on their performances here.”