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Kibirige the latest to leave Newcastle for Premiership switch

By Alex Shaw
Falcons wing Zach Kibirige races through to score the first try during the Gallagher Premiership match between Newcastle Falcons and Worcester Warriors at Kingston Park. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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It’s a disheartening time for Newcastle Falcons fans, as players leave the club following relegation and Dean Richards and his side must prepare for at least one season in the Greene King IPA Championship.

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Simon Hammersley‘s move to Sale Sharks has already been confirmed, with both Chris Harris and Mark Wilson likely to follow him out the door at Kingston Park, albeit with both of those players in the frame for potential loan moves, should Falcons be able to convince them of a bright future in the north-east.

Santiago Socino is another post-relegation loss, whilst regular starters Calum Green and Sami Mavinga announced their departures during the season, leaving Newcastle with a number of large holes to fill in their squad.

Things are set to get worse before they get better, however, as RugbyPass understands that Zach Kibirige has agreed a deal with Wasps and that a contract between the two parties has already been signed.

Kibirige, 24, has impressed in the opportunities that have come his way over the last couple of seasons, but with Vereniki Goneva and Sinoti Sinoti in place at Kingston Park, those opportunities have not been as regular as he would have liked. His departure will come as a blow for Newcastle, who would have been looking to build around the offensive talent next season, during which Goneva and Sinoti will turn 36 and 34 respectively.

The move will leave Newcastle more reliant upon Adam Radwan who, like Kibirige, has impressed in the chances he has been given over the last 12 months. It should also open the door to more playing time for Morgan Passman, 19, whose 31 tries in 19 games for Tynedale this season almost broke the National League 2 North record.

As for Wasps, they strengthen at a position where they have been caught thin this season, thanks to Christian Wade’s departure for the NFL. Kibirige will join Josh Bassett and Marcus Watson in a battle for a spot on the wing, whilst fellow newcomer Matteo Minozzi will contest Willie le Roux‘s vacated full-back spot with Rob Miller.

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Watch: Phil Kearns calls for the removal of the Jaguares from Super Rugby

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