Planet Rugby

Falcons sign Nagle and league wing

11th February 2014 07:58

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Ian Nagle Munster v Australia 2010

Ian Nagle: at Falcons until the end of the season

Newcastle Falcons have bolstered their ranks by signing Munster second-row Ian Nagle and rugby league wing Lee Smith.

Nagle, 25, who scooped Munster's Young Player of the Year in 2010, joins Nagle until the end of the season while former Leeds Rhinos and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats flyer Smith has signed until the end of the 2014/15 season.

Nagle has made two appearances for Ireland Wolfhounds against England Saxons and Scotland 'A' respectively and his impressive form earned him a call-up to the Ireland training squad for the 2012 Six Nations Championships.

Standing at 6ft 6" and weighing in at just over 18 stone, the former Ireland U20 and U19 representative was part of the Munster side that won the 2011/12 British and Irish Cup.

"I'm delighted to have the opportunity to test myself in the Aviva Premiership and help Newcastle Falcons move up the table," said Nagle.

"Looking at the fixture list there are some big teams to play against in the next few weeks and they are the games that you relish and want to be involved in as a professional rugby player."

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards believes Nagle wil make a positive impact in his new surroundings.

"I'm delighted that we have been able to bring in a second-row of the calibre of Ian," he said.

"We have been watching Ian's progress for a while now, and he's a great addition to the pack as we enter the business end of the season."

Super League star Smith, 27, who won the Grand Final three times in a row with Leeds including a man-of-the-match display against St Helens in 2008, has joined up with his new team-mates ahead of this weekend's Aviva Premiership trip to Harlequins.

After representing England in the Four Nations in 2009, Smith who can also ply his trade at centre, switched codes to join London Wasps and ironically he came up against the Falcons in the LV= Cup in his first game at Adams Park before returning to Leeds later that season.

Picking up where he left off at the Headingley Carnegie Stadium, the powerful pacey back moved to Wakefield in 2012.

"I'm extremely thankful to Newcastle for giving me the opportunity to play in the Aviva Premiership," said Smith.

"This is an exciting challenge for me in the North East and I can't wait to get started," added the Morley-born back.

Dean Richards is delighted with Smith's capture.

"Lee is a quality signing for the club and is a proven try scorer at the highest level in rugby league," he said.

"I'm confident that he can replicate his talent in the 15-aside code, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing him in action in the Aviva Premiership."

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