Dave Walder: Newcastle Falcons head coach steps back from role and will leave Premiership club at the end of the season

Adam Kyriacou
Dave Walder

Newcastle Falcons have confirmed the rumours that Dave Walder has stepped back from his position as head coach with immediate effect.

Assistant coach Mark Laycock takes over the job and will stay in charge until a permanent successor is found, with Walder leaving at the end of the season.

This shock news follows Dean Richards’ exit at the end of last campaign and with Newcastle sitting joint bottom in the Premiership with Bath on 27 points.

Change made by Newcastle Falcons

“Realistically we haven’t been where we want to be for a few years now and as a club we recognise the need to make changes to our approach to achieve our goals,” chairman of rugby Matt Thompson said in a statement released on the club’s official website.

“Transitional periods like this are never easy and unfortunately we are going to lose some people along the way.

“A lot has happened, particularly this year, both across the sport and on and off the field at the club, and we need a bit of a reset across the board.

“Our aim is to be a sustainable club that is here for years to come and in line with that it’s important that we invest in the right areas, in the right way at the right time.”

Thompson added: “We’ve already made some great announcements including re-signing a number of players such as Ben Stevenson, Jamie Blamire and Adam Radwan. This has been bolstered by some new faces including Tim Cardall, Murray McCallum and Kiran McDonald. We also continue to recruit both on and off the field into the rugby department, including across the coaching team.

Immensely grateful to Walder

“The ongoing support from our loyal supporters and our employees is huge, and we want to thank them for the commitment they continue to show to Newcastle Falcons. We’re really excited for them to come on this journey with us and be part of what is shaping up to be both an exciting and sustainable future.

“On a more personal note, we’re immensely grateful for everything Dave has helped us to achieve. He’s been a massive part of our club for many years and as with all departures it’s been a tough decision, but ultimately the right one for the club as we move forward. We wish him all the best in the future and look forward to seeing what he does next.”

Walder turned out 110 times for the Falcons before leaving to join Wasps and then finishing his playing career at Japanese side Mitsubishi Dynaboars.

Newcastle reveal they are working to finalise the structure of the coaching team for next season, and further announcements will be made in due course.

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