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Falcons return to Aviva Premiership

May 30th, 2013

Newcastle Falcons secured their return to Aviva Premiership Rugby last night. In a hard fought match at Kingston Park, they came out on top 49-33 on aggregate (31-24 on the night).

Bedford Blues put up a determined fight to close down the 18-9 advantage Newcastle took from the first leg. Bedford outside-half, Jake Sharp, scored all of his team’s points in an end to end game. But as Ryan Shortland and Alex Tait both crossed the try line for Newcastle and Jimmy Gopperth kicked seven penalties, the Falcons sealed their return to top flight rugby.

Newcastle return to the Aviva Premiership after losing just one regular league game in the Championship this season against Bristol. They finished the league 24 points ahead of their nearest rivals, Nottingham.

Gopperth, who will be joining Leinster next season, was Newcastle’s top point scorer in the 2012-13 season with 230 points.  So, after adding to this tally in the play-offs, it was appropriate that Gopperth’s leaving gift was being named Man of the Match last night.

“Bedford Blues put in a determined performance with their backline looking particularly dangerous, but after dominating the Championship this season with only one loss in a regular league game, Newcastle Falcons look like they have built some great foundations for their return to English rugby’s top flight.” said Mark McCafferty, Chief Executive, Premiership Rugby.

Paul Varley, Chief Executive, Newcastle Falcons added:  “We are delighted that Aviva Premiership Rugby will be returning to the North East of England. Dean, the team and all of the coaches have worked hard all season with the single aim of taking Newcastle Falcons back to Aviva Premiership Rugby and we’re looking forward to the 2013-14 season.”

Newcastle Falcons’ return to the Premiership comes two months before Premiership Rugby starts an exciting four-year deal with BT Sport. From August, the broadcaster will show exclusive coverage of the J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s and up to 69 live matches from Aviva Premiership Rugby.

Newcastle Falcons will be back in Premiership action at the J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s Series in August, a title which they won in 2011.  They will find out their Aviva Premiership Rugby schedule when they join the other 11 Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs at the fixture launch in July.