Jim Naylor

Back-line stars sign up for Tankie's Battle

Thursday 7 April 2016

Premiership title winners Jim Naylor, Gary Armstrong and Stuart Legg are among the latest batch of Newcastle Falcons greats to have confirmed for 'Tankie's Battle' on April 22 at Kingston Park.

They will form part of a Falcons Legends side playing a North east Select XV in aid of former Newcastle prop Paul Van-Zandvliet, who has recently been diagnosed with inoperable cancer.

As well as raising money for a trust in aid of Paul's daughter, the match will also allocate money to both the RVI and Freeman hospitals in the city as well as Restart Rugby, the official charity of the Rugby Players' Association.

The match has seen the rugby community turning out in force for Van-Zandvliet, the long-time club man who was an instrumental part of the Falcons' 1997-8 Premiership title-winning side.

Armstrong is among the main names committed to the fixture, the Scottish scrum-half having scored 13 tries in 22 games en-route to the league crown.

Wing Naylor dotted down eight times in 18 outings that term as part of a fearsome back line, Legg scoring six tries in 21 Premiership appearances that season.

The trio of title winners are joined in the latest wave of recruits for Tankie's Battle by wing Michael Wood, who made 22 Premiership outings between 1998 and 2000.

Former England fly-half Dave Walder, now atack coach with the Falcons, will make an appearance for the club he helped to two Cup final victories in 2001 and 2004, as will Tom May.

May played more than 200 top-flight games for the Falcons between 1998 and 2012, scoring a pair of tries in the 2001 Tetley's Bitter Cup final as well as steering the club away from relegation in 2009.

This latest batch of names is in addition to an initial forward influx which included title-winning captain Dean Ryan, Garath Archer, Stuart Grimes, Steve O'Neill and Micky Ward, with new names confirming all the time in the lead-up to the 7.45pm kick-of on Friday April 22.

Tickets for Tankie's Battle are available priced £10 and £20 for adults, £5 for juniors and £50 for hospitality. To book call 0871 226 6060 or CLICK HERE .

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