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Newcastle sign flyhalf Rory Jennings

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP via Getty Images)

Rory Jennings has signed a two-year contract with Newcastle Falcons, becoming one of a group of former London Irish players to find a new home this Thursday.

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The 27-year-old is a versatile player, capable of playing as a fly-half or centre. He spent the past two seasons with the Exiles after joining from French team Clermont in 2021. Jennings, who was born in London, initially came through the Bath academy and later had a stint at Coventry, where he excelled as a top scorer in the 2020-21 season.

Standing at 176cm (5 foot 9) and weighing 84kg (13 stone 3), he represented England Under-20s in the 2015 Junior World Championship final against New Zealand.

Last season, Jennings made 19 appearances for London Irish, with 11 in the Gallagher Premiership and four in the Heineken Champions Cup. Newcastle Falcons’ head coach, Alex Codling, expressed his delight at having Jennings join the team.

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“First and foremost I’m really excited to be joining Newcastle Falcons and to be given the opportunity,” said Jennings. “I want to get stuck in straightaway and contribute to the group, but of course it would be remiss of me not to mention the recent events at London Irish. The club and supporters there have given me a huge amount over the past two years, which I’ll never forget.

“It’s been a tremendously difficult time affecting a lot of really good people, but it doesn’t take away from the fact a new opportunity has opened up for me at Newcastle. I’m really thankful for that and I’ve heard a lot of good things about the club.

“I worked with the Falcons’ new head coach Alex Codling for a brief period when I went on loan from Bath to Ealing, and know him to be a very good coach. It’ll be great to link up with him again, and I know quite a few of the other players already from either playing with them or meeting them around various things.”

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“I’m very competitive and I’ll give absolutely everything for every second I’m on the pitch or in the training environment.

“I’ve played fly-half and centre plenty of times, and I’m happy to play wherever I’m needed. I’ll go wherever the coaches want me and wherever’s best for the team, and I can’t wait to get up there next week to begin the journey.

“As a visiting player I know Newcastle to be a very difficult place to come and get a result at, so I’d imagine they’ll be looking to build on that whole fortress mentality. It will be good to be on the other side of that, and the North-East crowd always seem like they get right into it.”

Jennings joins Newcastle Falcons as their twelfth senior signing, following the confirmed arrivals of Murray McCallum from Edinburgh, Eduardo Bello from Saracens, Cameron Hutchison from Edinburgh, Hugh O’Sullivan from London Irish, Tim Cardall from Melbourne Rebels, Louis Brown from Coventry, Ollie Leatherbarrow from Exeter Chiefs, Kiran McDonald from former Munster, Bryan Byrne from Bristol Bears, Josh Bainbridge from Coventry, and John Kelly from Doncaster Knights.

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Jon 3 hours ago
How Maro Itoje terrorised the All Blacks lineout

Yeah England were much smarter, they put their much vaster experience to use in both the scrum (bending/not taking hit) and lineout (Itoje early sacks) law vagaries. Really though, I know what is there, I’m more worried about Englands locks. We only got to see Itoje and Martin, right? Depth allround in the England camp was probably the difference in the series and the drop off when Itoje reached his minutes limit for the season (it was like the plug was pulled from the charger) was up there with keeping Sexton on the park in that quarter final. What happened there? You have a lot of watching hours experience with locks come blindsides Nick, especially with a typical Australian player make up, have you see a six the size of Barrett absolutely dominate the position and his opposition? I can easily see Scott, and even Martin for that matter, moving to the blindside and playing like Tadgh Beirne with the amount of top locks we have coming through to partner Patrick. Still with the English mindset, because despite running the best All Black team I’ve seen in a long time close, they do need to find improvement, and although I thought they had a lot of good performances from their 7’s (over the years), I really like the prospect of Cunningham-South in his 8 spot and Earl on the open. Can you see Martin as mobile enough to take over Lawes? I absolutely loved his aggression when Jordie ran upto him to try and grab the ball. That alone is enough reason for me to try him there.

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