Falcons appoint Russell
Peter Russell has been confirmed as the new head coach of Newcastle Falcons, who still do not know if they will be relegated.
The New Zealander was appointed to work under director of rugby Dean Richards, who was handed his role after serving a three-year ban for his involvement in the 'bloodgate' scandal at Harlequins. Russell has extensive coaching experience having worked at Hawke's Bay in Napier and with the Highlanders Super 15 side. The 48-year-old has also coached at New Zealand Under-20 level and is looking forward to getting stuck in at the north-east club. "Improving the Falcons position is the aim and with good things in place and some good people around me we can achieve that," he told the club's official website. Russell is known to favour attacking and open rugby but it is unclear whether his charges will be playing in the Aviva Premiership or the Championship next term. London Welsh, who won the Championship, are still waiting to find out if they will be granted permission to play in the top flight and their appeal will be held in London on June 21.