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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 April 2006, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
Newcastle axe Walder and Finegan
Owen Finegan
Finegan won the World Cup in 1999 with Australia
Newcastle have released Owen Finegan, Dave Walder and Tino Paoletti from the final year of their contracts.

Finegan, 34, only joined the Falcons last year after a successful spell with Australia and the ACT Brumbies.

"Owen had high expectations but the relentless nature of the league and our style of play have made it a testing season," said Falcons boss Rob Andrew.

Fly-half Walder leaves after seven seasons while Italian prop Paoletti joined in 2005 from Plymouth Albion.

Walder, 27, has made 93 competitive starts for the Falcons and has scored a total of 508 points.

"Dave has enjoyed some great days at the club, and will always be remembered by the supporters for his vital contribution in winning the 2001 and 2004 Cup finals," Andrew added.

"But with the emergence of Toby Flood as an outstanding young fly-half and the return to fitness of Jonny Wilkinson, realistically Dave's opportunities for game time are now limited."

Finegan, a World Cup winning flanker with Australia in 1999, was one of Newcastle's high profile signings last summer and was brought in to help improve their mid-table finish.

Andrew said: "Owen's vast international experience has been an asset and a great resource for the coaching staff to tap in to.

"But with so many talented young players now pushing through in the back row department the scope for getting him out on the pitch on a regular basis is limited."

Newcastle 32-21 Sale
16 Apr 06 |  English


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