Peter Russell, the former assistant coach at New Zealand’s Super Rugby side the Otago Highlanders, is all but certain to be named as the new head coach of the Aviva Premiership side the Newcastle Falcons. However, it is not certain if Russell will take over the role of head coach at a Premiership side or a RFU Championship side with the future of The Falcons still up in smoke with the London Welsh unable to pass the stadium audit of the Premiership and will now have to go to the courts to settle the dispute.
But that has not deterred The Falcons from making wholesale changes after already appointing Dean Richards as their new Director of Rugby who will take over the reins of the club from August, after the expiry of his three year ban from coaching following the ‘Blood-gate’ scandal and the club has also made eight new signings already. If the 48 year old New Zealander agrees to the personal terms of the contract, he will be moving to Kingston Park to work under Richards.
The Newcastle Falcons will not even have to pay any compensation for his services as well as Russell has been out of work since quitting his post at Hawke’s Bay and with the side putting together a side full of youngsters, the appointment of Russell will be a very positive thing as he is known to be one the finest handlers of youth in the world.
Russell was also at the helm when The Magpies reached the semi finals of the Air New Zealand Cup on three consecutive occasions between 2007 and 2009 and also led them to the ITM Championship.
Russell had been linked with a role at Gloucester Rugby but it seems that he is sure to be at the helm of their rivals the Newcastle Falcons.