Newcastle take over league side Gateshead Thunder
May 23, 2014
Newcastle Falcons have united the codes in the North East by taking over rugby league club Gateshead Thunder.
The arrangement will see Thunder become part of Newcastle Rugby Limited, although the club will retain their Gateshead identity, colours and logo. Thunder will also continue to play at the Gateshead International Stadium for the remainder of the 2014 season, but then alternatives will be considered. That could mean a relocation to the Falcons' Kingston Park stadium.
Newcastle Rugby chairman Semore Kurdi said: "There are a number of benefits to having both league and union clubs within the same organisation. Resources can be shared off the field in terms of administration, marketing, medical, sports science and facilities that will be to the advantage of both clubs.
"We look forward to the second half of the season now with Thunder with our aim being promotion to the next tier. With rugby league now re-introducing promotion and relegation between the various levels there is a clear path through to Super League. To reach Super League will be our long-term goal."
The Falcons have pledged to make resources available immediately for Thunder head coach Stanley Gene to strengthen his squad. Thunder are currently seventh in Championship One. The Gateshead club was formed as a Super League franchise for the 1999 season but survived just one year in the elite division before merging with Hull. Thunder were reformed the following year at a lower level.
Thunder chairman Bill Midgeley said: "This is undoubtedly the most significant date in Gateshead Thunder's history since the formation of the original club back in 1998. There's a lot of hard work ahead for everyone involved but today's news gives us a real opportunity to grow not just Thunder but the sport of rugby league in the north east."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Manchester United have not yet made a decision on the future of Radamel Falcao, Press Association Sport has reported
A gold medal stolen during a burglary at the home of former heptathlete Kelly Sotherton has been recovered from a postbox, police have confirmed
Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has been forced to recall three players from club duty in order to cover player injuries
England head coach Stuart Lancaster says auditions for this year's Rugby World Cup have already begun as he begins to understand which players "can and can't deliver under pressure"
England head coach Stuart Lancaster has revealed Mike Brown is feeling "100%" ahead of the clash with Scotland
Join Steve Bunce and Barry Jones each week for the latest news, views and debate from the boxing world.
Head injuries are not a trivial matter in sport - especially in one which will never fully eliminate the danger posed to its drivers
Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood was so delighted with his side's last-gasp win over West Brom that he said the three points were better than his wife winning the Euro Millions jackpot
He may try and play down his obsession with his appearance, but Cristiano Ronaldo has apparently been sending a personal stylist to regularly brush up his waxwork model
Paul Butler tells Inside Boxing he turned down the chance of a trial with Liverpool in order to focus on boxing - and it was the right choice
Rafael Benitez has raised concerns about the long-term fitness of Chelsea captain John Terry after revealing the defender is trapped in "a vicious circle" regarding his persistent knee injury
John Terry says he is fighting for his family's future but has pledged never to play for another club when his time at Chelsea comes to an end
Carl Froch has challenged Andre Ward to step into enemy territory at Nottingham Forest's City Ground for their proposed super-middleweight title unification bout
Louis van Gaal has come to the defence of Angel Di Maria after the midfielder's Manchester United career reached a new low when he was taken off at half-time in Saturday's 2-0 win over Sunderland
Crystal Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak has been charged with violent conduct for elbowing West Ham's Diafra Sakho, the Football Association has announced
Eight years ago, Steve Bunce was offered the chance of buying a 'share' in Tyson Fury, and it would have been a shrewd investment if he had the money
After enduring a tricky start to his Manchester United career, perhaps it is fair that Marcos Rojo celebrated so boisterously as he watched his first professional club Estudiantes beat fierce rivals Gimnasia
The idea of Chelsea squeezing in a quick 20-minute Wembley celebration before getting back to work is both admirable and typically soulless, writes Alan Tyers
A basketball match between Bilbao Basket and Laboral Kutxa Baskonia in the Spanish ACB League was marred by a brawl that erupted in the closing stages of the game
Former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher marked his return to football punditry by coining a new name for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers