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Newcastle statement: The exit of defence coach Scott Baldwin

By Liam Heagney
Scott Baldwin at work with Newcastle in April (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Defence coach Scott Baldwin has stepped away from his role at Newcastle, citing personal reasons for his decision. The retired Wales hooker joined the Gallagher Premiership club last summer as part of the refreshed management ticket under new boss Alex Codling.

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The Falcons now have Steve Diamond at the helm after Codling stepped down in January and their season ended with them finishing bottom of the league with no wins in 18 matches. Diamond is currently overhauling the squad for next season and he will now also need a new assistant to fill the vacancy created by Baldwin’s departure.

A statement read: “Newcastle Falcons defence coach Scott Baldwin has stepped down from his position at Kingston Park. The former Welsh international hooker joined the Falcons last summer but has taken the decision for personal reasons, leaving with the thanks and best wishes of the club.”

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Baldwin said: “I have got a young family down in South Wales and it has been tough commuting up and down to Newcastle, living in a hotel during the week and nipping back for the odd day in between games. I want to be fair to my family and also to the club, who have been great in terms of understanding my situation.

“I’d like to thank all the players and staff at the Falcons for the support they have given me during my season up in the North East, and the effort they have shown.

“Everyone would acknowledge it has been a challenging year but I really enjoyed working with the lads up there, and I have grown as a coach and a person during that time.

“I’m now looking forward to my next challenge back in Wales, which is away from rugby. I’ll be doing some coaching at semi-pro level a couple of nights a week so I’ll retain a foothold in the game, and I wish nothing but the best for Newcastle Falcons as they move into next season.”

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Chairman of rugby Matt Thompson added: “We have enjoyed having Scott with us, and despite it being a difficult campaign we really valued the contribution he made.

“It has been tough for him being so far away from his young family for most of the week, and as much as he was relishing the challenge of his coaching career in Newcastle you also have to think of the bigger picture.

“Scott has been very open and honest with us about his situation, which we completely understand, and he just felt it would be fairest to the club and to his family if he stood down from the last year of his contract.

“On behalf of the entire staff here at Kingston Park I’d like to thank him for all his hard work during his time with us, and wish him well for whatever comes next.”

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