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Newcastle sign Mark Wilson's replacement - 6'4, 110kg Philip Van der Walt

By Online Editors
Philip Van der Walt

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Newcastle Falcons have confirmed the signing of back-rower Philip van der Walt on a three-year deal from South African Super Rugby side, the Sharks.

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The 6 foot 4 forward turned 30 last weekend, and will arrive on Tyneside in the coming weeks upon receipt of his visa.

Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “Philip’s signing is great news for the club because he brings us experience, leadership and a huge amount of ability in a key area of the team.

“He is renowned as a ball player at No 8 but relishes the physical aspects of the game, and he will also give us another top line-out option as well as being able to play in the second row.”

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Van der Walt played his first provincial rugby as a teenager with South Africa’s Eastern Province, going on to enjoy a successful six-season spell with Free State Cheetahs, also playing Super Rugby for the Cheetahs.

Spending a year in France with Biarritz, Van der Walt joined Natal Sharks the following season, captaining the side and going on to play Super Rugby for the Sharks.

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Playing for Japanese club Canon Eagles prior to rejoining the Sharks for this year’s Super Rugby campaign, Van der Walt spoke of his enthusiasm at becoming a Newcastle Falcons player.

He said: “I am very excited to join the Falcons.

“I am looking forward to meeting the team, learning from their experience and contributing as best as I can.

“It is a whole new experience for my family and I. We have never been to the UK and we are looking forward to experiencing Newcastle, its people and the change in environment.”

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Van der Walt forms part of a summer influx which also includes USA lock Greg Peterson (Bordeaux-Begles), Tonga wing Cooper Vuna (Bath), lock Darren Barry (Worcester), prop Mark Tampin (Ealing), lock Sebastian de Chaves (London Irish), lock Toby Salmon (Exeter) and centre Gareth Owen (Leicester).

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