sport

Russell to leave Newcastle

Head coach Peter Russell is to leave Premiership side Newcastle at the end of the season for personal reasons.

Russell arrived at Kingston Park in 2012 from New Zealand provincial side Hawke's Bay to work with Falcons rugby director Dean Richards.

"I've enjoyed the challenge of the Aviva Premiership, which is an incredibly competitive league," Russell told the Falcons' official website.

"And had we had the rub of the green with injuries and in one or two matches this season, we might just have been further up the table.

"However, the development of this young side has been marked and has pleased me hugely, with young players gaining invaluable experience and maturing with every opportunity."

Richards added: "Peter will be a huge loss to the squad.

"In my years of being involved in the game I've never come across anyone with such an in-depth understanding of the game and an appetite for learning like Peter's."

Newcastle are currently 11th in the Premiership, nine points above bottom club Worcester with four games left.