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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 May 2006, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Rudd signs for Newcastle Falcons
John Rudd tackling Jason Robinson
John Rudd started 14 games for Northampton in 2005-06
Newcastle have signed winger John Rudd from Premiership rivals Northampton Saints on a two-year deal.

Falcons boss Rob Andrew believes the powerful 24-year-old, who can also play in the centres, will bring a "different dimension" to Newcastle's back line.

Andrew said: "He has been unlucky at Northampton to only receive limited chances due to the likes of Ben Cohen and Sean Lamont being in the team."

Rudd began his professional career with Wasps, moving to Northampton in 2003.

Andrew, Newcastle's director of rugby, added: "We already have huge pace in the wide areas with the likes of Anthony Elliott, Tom May, Ollie Phillips and James Hoyle, so John's powerful style of play gives us more flexibility to adapt our game plan."

"He has played on the wing and can also slot in to the centres, which could be very important over the next couple of seasons if we lose our whole midfield during the international windows and next season's Rugby World Cup."



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