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Page last updated at 11:56 GMT, Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Newcastle Falcons hand Fitzpatrick three-year deal

James Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick has made eight appearances in his debut season

Newcastle Falcons have handed former Blaydon centre James Fitzpatrick a three-year extension to his deal, keeping him at the club until 2014.

The 22-year-old has made eight appearances for the Falcons since making the switch from his local club in May 2010.

"I've trained hard, taken my chances and I'm just learning all the time at this level," Fitzpatrick said.

"It's a really enjoyable place to be, and I'm living the dream."

Fitzpatrick added: "I knew before I came here that I had to improve to get picked for the first team, but I've worked hard in everything I've done."

I think that at the end of three seasons he'll be a regular in our match-day squad

Falcons coach Alan Tait

Head coach Alan Tait, who signed the South Shields-born player, also recently handed new deals to Will Welch and James Hall.

"James is a great local talent, and a three-year deal is just what he needs because he still has a lot of work to do in his game," Tait added.

"Three years gives him that bit of security, a good spell under full-time training, and I think that at the end of three seasons he'll be a regular in our match-day squad."

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