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Newcastle bring in an ex-Wasps hooker with immediate effect

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Dave Walder has bolstered his Newcastle squad for the end-of-season run-in with the immediate effect recruitment of ex-Wasps youngster Corbin Thunder, a hooker from South Africa who is English-qualified. The Falcons recently lost George McGuigan to Gloucester but they have now reinforced their squad in that front row area.

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A statement read: “Hooker Corbin Thunder has signed for Newcastle Falcons with immediate effect. The former Wasps player, 19, joins until the end of next season and linked up with his new teammates today [Tuesday].

“Born and raised in South Africa, Thunder is English-qualified through both grandparents on his father’s side, who were born in the UK. Coming through the famed Maritzburg College production line, Thunder joined Wasps’ senior academy last summer prior to their suspension from the Gallagher Premiership earlier this season.

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“The abrasive front-rower was part of the Wasps team which defeated Newcastle Falcons in Premiership Rugby Cup action in September, making 15 tackles in 17 minutes after coming in as a late addition to the match-day squad.

“Following Wasps’ expulsion from the Premiership earlier this season he has been training with the Sharks in his home city of Durban and he has spoken of his enthusiasm at moving to Tyneside.”

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Thunder said: “This chance at Newcastle Falcons feels like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. After Wasps folded, with there being so many good players on the market I was starting to get a bit worried that my career in the UK was going to have to be put on hold, so to have received the news that Newcastle were going to sign me on was lovely. It’s a club with an exciting mix of experience and younger players, and I can’t wait to get started.

“My rugby journey has been a bumpy road so far, but I always knew that God had a plan for me. I was grateful that my hometown club the Sharks took me in and made me feel a part of the family by allowing me to train with them, and I’m relishing this new opportunity.

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“I have always lived by this quote, ‘If you going to sit at the dinner table, bring something to eat’. I’m hoping to bring everything I’ve got, and there’s an opportunity here for me that I won’t let go to waste. I’m a youngster who has nothing to lose and everything to learn, and I’m very keen to get straight into the thick of it.”

Newcastle boss Walder added: “Corbin is a talented young player who has had a brief taste of a Premiership environment at Wasps and shows a lot of promise. He offers plenty in the way of ball-carrying and his work around the field, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can bring to our squad.”

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