Aviva Premiership
Mayhew brothers commit to Falcons
ESPNscrum Staff
December 21, 2011
Richard Mayhew claims a lineout for Newcastle, Newcastle Falcons v Bath, Aviva Premiership, Kingston Park, Newcastle, England, September 3, 2011
Richard Mayhew claims a lineout for the Falcons © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Mike Mayhew | Richard Mayhew | Alan Tait
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The Newcastle Falcons have received a boost ahead of their clash with Sale Sharks on Boxing Day with the news that Michael and Richard Mayhew have both committed to the Kingston Park side.

The brothers have both penned new deals which will keep them at the Falcons until the end of the 2013-14 season. Michael joined the Falcons in September on a short-term deal but the hooker has clearly done enough to impress boss Alan Tait to be awarded a new contract. And his fellow Auckland-born brother Richard took the man of the match award on his debut against Bath back in September.

Richard is delighted to have committed to the club citing the side's off-field resources as one key reason. "We have got a great coaching set-up here at the Falcons and with the recent investment we have the best off field support I have experienced as a player with the new medical suite, analysis room, gym and training facilities at Kingston Park," Richard said. "I have really enjoyed my time so far in Newcastle and there are some exciting times to look forward to.

"I was not sure what to expect when I came over but I have really enjoyed the North East and the supporters are really passionate."

Michael said: "I initially signed a short term contract until Christmas and I have really enjoyed playing for the club - now I am looking forward to the future with the Falcons. I am currently injured so I am trying to get myself back for this week or the next and make myself available for selection."

And Falcons boss Tait is hoping their renewed commitment is the sign of things to come. "I am delighted that Michael has decided to re-sign for the club and with Richard I told him that it would be nice for him to stay with his brother," Tait said. "Richard has extended his deal to match his brother's. This is the time of the year when we are looking to build - we are talking to players and agents at the moment.

"Hopefully this is the start of some more lads coming into the club. We are looking to strengthen the squad and there are also about 12 players we are looking to re-sign so hopefully we will get them to commit."

And the Falcons have also signed up academy tight-head prop Scott Wilson for what they label the '2012-13 season and beyond'. The Falcons have lost a wealth of home-grown talent in recent times with Alex Gray the most recent to jump ship. But Tait sees Wilson's commitment as a key indication of their ability to hold on to the best the North East has to offer.

"It is a massive boost for a club like Newcastle to secure one of England's most up and coming young players on a long-term deal," Tait said. "To lose Kieran Brookes last season was a big blow to us and not many clubs would be able to replace their young tight-head prop in such a short space of time.

"We have now signed someone who is equally if not better than the players who have gone before him. He has a great attitude and a real hunger to pull on the Falcons jersey and that is what we expect from our academy players."

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