Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global

Winless Newcastle Falcons call in Steve Diamond

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Struggling Newcastle Falcons have appointed Steve Diamond as their new consultant director of rugby.


With extensive experience in rugby, Diamond, a Lancastrian, will begin his role next month. This appointment follows the stepping down of Alex Codling from his regular duties as head coach. In the interim, Micky Ward, the forwards coach, will oversee the team for their imminent matches in Perpignan and Northampton.

Something of a specialist at righting struggling clubs, his career spans over 23 years in coaching and management, with significant time at Sale, where he also had a notable playing career as a hooker, making over 300 appearances.

The scale of the task Diamond faces is significant, with Falcons yet to win a Premiership match this season in eleven attempts.

He has held various prestigious positions, including coaching roles at Saracens, England A, the Russian national team, and most recently, Worcester Warriors. His last game with Worcester in September 2022 resulted in a significant 39-5 victory over Newcastle.

His experience also includes a consultancy role with the RFU and a significant contribution to Edinburgh Rugby as a lead rugby consultant. His appointment at Newcastle Falcons is a strategic move, expected to bring valuable insights and leadership to the club.

Newcastle Falcons chairman of rugby Matt Thompson said: “I am delighted to welcome Steve Diamond to the club. He is well known and respected throughout rugby, and we believe he is the right man to help us take the club forward.


“The work he did up at Edinburgh recently has contributed enormously to putting them on a sure footing, and at Worcester he did a remarkable job in exceptionally difficult circumstances.

“He knows the English rugby landscape very well, he is passionate about having a strong northern presence in the Gallagher Premiership and I’m excited about what can be achieved here with him on board.

“I would like to thank Alex Codling for all the hard work he has put in during his time as head coach, and during this interim period we will give Micky Ward all the support he needs for our games in Perpignan and Northampton.”

Diamond said: “Newcastle are an iconic Premiership club with a fantastic history.

“It is a privilege to be asked to assist in building a successful and sustainable Premiership business.”


RFU executive director of performance rugby, Conor O’Shea, said: “We welcome the appointment of Steve as consultant director of rugby at Newcastle Falcons to ensure his continued involvement in the English game at this very important time.

“We would like to thank Newcastle Falcons for allowing Steve to continue in his advisory role on our work to achieve a sustainable and investible Tier 2 league in English rugby.

“Within the context of the Professional Game Partnership discussions we are wanting to create a whole-game solution and a Tier 2 that has improved standards, is integrated and fully contributes to the high-performance system in English rugby. Steve’s experience in growing clubs sustainably is valuable in helping us achieve that.”


Join free

Chasing The Sun | Series 1 Episode 1

Fresh Starts | Episode 1 | Will Skelton


Aotearoa Rugby Podcast | Episode 9

James Cook | The Big Jim Show | Full Episode

New Zealand victorious in TENSE final | Cathay/HSBC Sevens Day Three Men's Highlights

New Zealand crowned BACK-TO-BACK champions | Cathay/HSBC Sevens Day Three Women's Highlights

Japan Rugby League One | Bravelupus v Steelers | Full Match Replay

Trending on RugbyPass


Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

Poorfour 4 hours ago
The AI advantage: How the next two Rugby World Cups will be won

AI models are really just larger and less transparent variants of the statistical models that have been in use since Moneyball was invented. And a big difference between the Icahn centre’s results and AI today is that ChatGPT-like Large Language Models can explain (to some degree) how they reached their conclusions. In terms of what impact they will have, I suspect it will have two primary impacts: 1) It will place a premium on coaching creativity 2) It will lead to more selections that baffle fans and pundits. Analysts will be able to run the models both ways: they will see their own team’s and players’ weaknesses and strengths as well as the opposition’s. So they will have a good idea at what the other team will be targeting and the decisive difference may well be which coaches are smart enough to think of a gameplan that the other side didn’t identify and prepare for. For players, it places a premium on three key things: 1) Having a relatively complete game with no major weaknesses (or the dedication to work on eliminating them) 2) Having the tactical flexibility to play a different game every week 3) Having a point of difference that is so compelling that there isn’t a defence for it. (3) is relatively rare even among pro players. There have been only a handful of players over the years where you knew what they were going to do and the problem was stopping it - Lomu would be the classic example. And even when someone does have that, it’s hard to sustain. Billy Vunipola in his prime was very hard to stop, but fell away quite badly when the toll on his body began to accumulate. So coaches will look for (1) - a lack of exploitable weaknesses - and (2) - the ability to exploit others’ weaknesses - ahead of hoping for (3), at least for the majority of the pack. Which is likely to mean that, as with the original Moneyball, competent, unshowy players who do the stuff that wins matches will win out over outrageous talents who can’t adapt to cover their own weaknesses. Which will leave a lot of people on the sidelines sputtering over the non-inclusion of players whose highlights reels are spectacular, but whose lowlight reels have been uncovered by AI… at least until the point where every fan has access to a sporting analysis AI.

13 Go to comments
TRENDING Hurricanes face anxious wait after blockbusting All Black helped from field Hurricanes face anxious wait over Asafo Aumua