The 2018/19 season has not been a kind one on the pitch for Newcastle Falcons, with the side from the north-east sitting four points off the pace at the bottom of the Gallagher Premiership table, but it is also shaping up to be a difficult one off the pitch.
RugbyPass reported earlier this week that second row Will Witty is set to move to Exeter Chiefs at the end of the season, but that just seems to be the tip of the iceberg for Falcons, who are facing significant turnover in their engine room.
In addition to Witty, RugbyPass understand that Glen Young, Andrew Davidson, Calum Green and Tevita Cavubati are all in the final years of their respective deals and that Sean Robinson is the only senior lock at the club tied down for the 2019/20 season. The club also have former England U18 lock Will Montgomery in their senior academy.
Young, 24, is a product of Newcastle’s academy and featured for the Scotland U20 side earlier in his career. It is understood he has agreed a deal with Harlequins and his signing will be confirmed shortly by the London club.
Green, 28, has established himself as one of the premier lineout operators in the competition and was crucial to Newcastle qualifying for the Heineken Champions Cup last season, but per RugbyPass sources he is in talks to return to Leicester Tigers, where he turned out as an academy player.
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Davidson, 22, joined Newcastle in 2016 from Glasgow Warriors, but has since returned to the club on loan, spending a two-month stint at Scotstoun earlier this season. RugbyPass understands that Glasgow are set to make that a permanent move next season, bringing the former Scotland U20 lock back home.
Fijian international Cavubati, 31, is also linked with a move away from the club, but his destination is as yet unknown.
RugbyPass understands that the deals for Witty and Young are signed and sealed, with the moves for Green and Davidson still to be gotten over the line, but that verbal agreements have been made or are close.
Newcastle’s league position is certainly not helping the club in their bids to persuade these players to stay, nor has it been beneficial in their attempts to lure new players to Kingston Park, with uncertainty over their status as a Premiership side next season making players reluctant to commit to moves.
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