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Page last updated at 16:07 GMT, Wednesday, 10 September 2008 17:07 UK

Parling injury blow for Falcons

Geoff Parling
Parling will be sidelined following surgery

Newcastle Falcons lock Geoff Parling faces a three-month lay-off following surgery on the cheekbone he damaged in Sunday's 14-9 loss against Sale.

Parling, 24, went off nursing a facial injury and coach Steve Bates has already begun planning his replacement for the visit of Northampton on Sunday.

"Geoff went to hospital with a broken cheekbone, so we'll have to make one change," he told BBC Radio Newcastle.

"We'll have to see, it was a fantastic team effort (against Sale)."

There was one bright note for Bates in the shape of teenage fly-half Rory Clegg, who scored all nine points for the Falcons on his Premiership debut.

Clegg, 18, showed composure and accuracy with his kicking throughout the game and Bates was quick to praise the academy talent for his impressive display.

"I thought Clegg was outstanding at 10, for a young kid playing his first game at that level playing against a back-line full of internationals," he said.

"We were very competitive and pretty unlucky to lose it."

see also
Newcastle v Northampton (Sun)
10 Sep 08 |  English
Newcastle 9-14 Sale
05 Sep 08 |  English

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