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Leicester to lose another hooker

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Tigers to lose another hooker

It looks as though Leicester are set to lose another of their promising hookers, as George McGuigan closes in on a return to Newcastle Falcons ahead of the 2018/19 season.

This follows fresh on the heels of the news that Harry Thacker will also be leaving Welford Road at the end of this season, making the move to Bristol, who are now all but certain to be promoted from the Championship.

The contracts have not been signed and sealed just yet, but McGuigan is believed to strongly favour Newcastle, the club he left to join Leicester in 2016.

When McGuigan initially left Newcastle two years ago, there had been hopes of England caps in his future and he did tour South Africa with the England Saxons that summer, but his opportunities have dried up since.

With Dylan Hartley returning to prominence, the continued rise of Jamie George and the likes of Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Dunn, Jack Singleton and Tommy Taylor all knocking on the door, the hierarchy at hooker has become very competitive and very congested.

McGuigan also faces plenty of competition at Welford Road, where Tom Youngs and Tatafu Polota-Nau, boasting 110 international caps between them, are in place and valued highly by coach Matt O’Connor.

Should he make the move back to Newcastle, he would be competing with Kyle Cooper and Santiago Socino for a spot in the team next season, a position battle that would likely keep Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards very happy.

Newcastle have extended the contracts of their two star wings, Vereniki Goneva and Sinoti Sinoti, in the last two months, moved into a Premiership playoff spot with six games left to play and plans to expand their Kingston Park stadium are close to being given the go ahead.

The arrival of McGuigan would only add to the current euphoria surrounding the club.

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Tigers to lose another hooker