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Carl Fearns has joined Newcastle with immediate effect from the French Pro D2

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Romain Lafabregue/AFP via Getty Images)

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Carl Fearns has joined Newcastle Falcons with immediate effect, signing until the end of the 2022/23 season. The 31-year-old back row arrives from French second-tier club Rouen where he has been showing the destructive ball-carrying ability that has previously seen him shine with Lyon, Bath and Sale Sharks.

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Fearns has played 93 times in the Premiership, 32 times in Europe and a further 75 in French domestic rugby, becoming a fans’ favourite during his five years with Lyon. Newcastle boss Dean Richards said: “Carl is an extremely physical player who knows how to get over the gain line and brings a great level of experience.

“We look forward to seeing him adding that dimension to our play in combination with the other talented back-row players we have within our ranks, and it’s another good signing for us.”

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Fearns said: “I’m excited about returning to the Premiership and seeing what I can add for Newcastle. The back row is a really competitive area of the squad where they already have a huge amount of quality, and I know I’ll have to work hard to earn a spot.”

Having shone during his spell with Lyon in particular, he added: “I loved my time there, and had arguably the best years of my career so far out there. But I feel like I’ve still got a lot to give, and coming into this new environment will push me to want to be better. It’s a really professional set-up here and it will get the best out of me.”

Taking no time to assimilate, Fearns explained: “My wife is from Consett and my family moved up to the North East a year ago, so I’ve been out in France on my own for the past year, which wasn’t ideal. It’s obviously great from that side of things now that we’re all together again and settled in County Durham, but first and foremost it’s a really exciting move from a rugby perspective.

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“I’m in full training with the squad this week, and when I do get my chance I’ll be hoping to add a ball-carrying option in the middle of the park and some intensity in defence. The club have already got a lot of bite in that back-row area, and it’s great to be in that kind of company every day in training.”

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Carl Fearns has joined Newcastle with immediate effect from the French Pro D2

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