Newcastle head coach in exit shock

08th Apr 2014, 18:20

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To leave: Peter Russell

To leave: Peter Russell

Newcastle head coach Peter Russell will be leaving the club for personal reasons at the end of the season, the club has announced.

Newcastle head coach Peter Russell will be leaving the club for personal reasons at the end of the current season, the club has announced.

Russell, who arrived on Tyneside in 2012 from Hawke's Bay, helped the Falcons return to the Premiership in his first season at Kingston Park.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my two years with Newcastle Falcons with the highlight of my time in the North East being the Championship final victory over Bedford," Russell told the Falcons.

"The hardy Falcons supporters have been very welcoming and warm towards me during my time here and I am grateful for that.

"I've enjoyed the challenge of the Aviva Premiership which is an incredibly competitive league, and had we had the rub of the green with injuries and in one or two matches this season, we might just have been further up the table.

"However, the development of this young side has been marked and has pleased me hugely, with young players gaining invaluable experience and maturing with every opportunity. I will be wishing them all the best at the end of the season," added Russell.

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards said: "Peter will be a huge loss to the squad. In my years of being involved in the game I've never come across anyone with such an in depth understanding of the game and an appetite for learning like Peter's. He is liked and admired by all. We will be wishing him all the best at the final whistle of the season, but as Peter keeps saying, there are games to be played, which means more games to be won."