Newcastle Falcons defence coach and rugby league legend Graham Steadman has backed the club’s move to buy Gateshead Thunder.
Former Great Britain international Steadman, who made his name at Castleford Tigers as both a player and coach, is excited at the prospect of a burgeoning relationship with the region’s rugby league side. And in the build-up to Thunder’s clash with Hunslet Hawks this Friday, Steadman believes the partnership can blossom.
“Certainly for me having worked as a player and coach in both codes it really excites me, and with my league background I would be more than happy to do guest coaching sessions with the likes of Stanley Gene who is the head coach of Thunder,” said Steadman.
He added: “I know quite a few of the boys who play with Gateshead and I think it’s certainly a step in the right direction and the more cross-code coaching you can get the better – the partnership is a win win for everyone involved.”
Now going into his third campaign with the Falcons, Steadman insists the club can flourish in the big league under the guidance of Dean Richards who has already drafted in a smattering of talent to Kingston Park.
Acknowledging the pivotal role of the club’s supporters, Steadman said: “Credit to the North East, they showed a real passion and were very patient and supportive right to the end last season. That’s something that got us over the whitewash and ensured we maintained our status in the Aviva Premiership.
“I’d like to think that we can excite them next term with a bit more open rugby and on the back of that get some winning rugby.”
Fresh from a record equaling 66-6 victory against London Skolars last weekend, Gateshead Thunder play Hunslet Hawks this Friday at Gateshead International Stadium (ko 8pm). Newcastle Falcons Season Ticket Holders can buy tickets for the game for only £5 with proof of entitlement. Tickets usually cost £12 for adults and £7 for juniors on the turnstile with a £2 discount for anyone buying in advance. Call 0191 214 5588 or click here to buy your tickets now.