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Page last updated at 15:08 GMT, Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Boss Fletcher leaves Newcastle

John Fletcher
Fletcher became Falcons director of rugby in 2006 (Getty)

Newcastle Falcons have parted company with director of rugby John Fletcher and forwards coach Peter Walton by mutual consent.

Falcons chairman Dave Thompson said: "I would like to place on record my thanks to John and Peter.

"Coaching and technical director Steve Bates will take charge of team affairs on an interim basis until the end of the season, assisted by Ian Peel."

The new pairing will begin their reign with the visit of Bristol on Sunday.

Fletcher was appointed director of rugby at Kingston Park in August 2006 following the departure of Rob Andrew.

The former England A centre had been head of the Falcons academy prior to taking up the post of director.


There he helped groom players such as Mathew Tait, Toby Flood and Jamie Noon who have become mainstays of the club's first-team.

Walton joined the Falcons as a player and later became a coach, having retired from playing through injury.

Last season Falcons missed out on a place in the lucrative Heineken Cup, finishing ninth in the Premiership, and they continue to show the same inconsistencies this term.

There has been success in the European Challenge Shield with Falcons topping their group and the quarter-final against Castres still to come in April.

Falcons are holding a news conference with the new management team on Wednesday, 12 March at 1200 GMT.

see also
Fletcher named new Falcons boss
18 Aug 06 |  Newcastle

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