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Aviva Premiership
Hodgson leaves Falcons for Saints
ESPN Staff
June 13, 2014
Joel Hodgson made ten Aviva Premiership appearances for Newcastle Falcons last season © Getty Images
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Joel Hodgson has left Newcastle Falcons to join Aviva Premiership champions Northampton Saints.

The versatile Hodgson, 21, was mainly deployed as a fly-half for Newcastle last season but will join Northampton as a scrum-half, serving as an understudy to internationals Kahn Fotuali'i and Lee Dickson.

"The Saints has been one of the top clubs in the Aviva Premiership for a number of years and it is an exciting place to be right now," said Hodgson. "I'm under no illusions that it is going to be a steep development curve for me, but having players like Fotuali'i, Dickson and Stephen Myler at the club means that I'm going to be learning from some of the best half-backs in the country.

"I'd like to thank everyone at Newcastle for everything they've done for me over the past few years. I grew up supporting the Falcons and to wear the first team shirt was a real privilege. Leaving Kingston Park and the friends and supporters I have at the Falcons will be a wrench for me, but I believe that the move to Northampton is in the best interests of my long-term career."

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder added: "Scrum-half is a specialist position where you need a lot of depth, especially when you have the likes of Kahn Fotuali'i and Lee Dickson away regularly with Samoa and England.

"Joel is a talented young English player, and he will provide stiff competition for Alex Day, who himself won the Junior World Championships with England just 12 months ago.

"We certainly view Joel as a player who has a lot of potential and we're looking forward to seeing him develop at Franklin's Gardens."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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