Aviva Premiership
Falcons snap up Murray
ESPNscrum Staff
December 22, 2010
Northampton tight-head prop Euan Murray, Northampton Saints v Saracens, Guinness Premiership, Franklin's Gardens, Northampton, England, April 24, 2010
Former Saints prop Euan Murray will link up with Alan Tait at Newcastle © Getty Images

Newcastle have signed Scotland international and British and Irish Lion Euan Murray on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

The 30-year-old prop, who has been capped 34 times for Scotland, was a free agent after leaving Northampton Saints by mutual consent. There was much speculation as to where the international prop would play his rugby, but he has now opted to join Alan Tait at Kingston Park.

"I'm delighted with my move to Newcastle," said Murray. "I can't wait to get stuck in and I'm really looking forward to pulling on the Falcons jersey. The move up to Newcastle was the best option for me and my family."

With the form of players such as Brian Mujati and Murray's refusal to play on Sundays due to his religious beliefs, the Scotland tight-head had fallen down the pecking order at Franklin's Gardens. But Falcons head coach Tait is not concerned about Murray's potential unavailability for matches and is happy to link up with the former Glasgow prop whom he coached whilst part of the Scotland set up.

"We're delighted to sign a proven high quality tight-head prop," said Tait. "Our preferred time to play our games is a Friday night and while some games do get moved for television, we will have Euan available for more games than we would most current international players."

Chairman Dave Thompson said: "The Board of Directors plus Alan have looked at the potential fixture lists very closely for the coming seasons, and with Saracens owning their ground next season it is likely that only Wasps and Irish will play their home games on a Sunday.

"You lose most internationals throughout the 6 nations, however, Scotland play England on a Sunday in the 2011 Six Nations and if we can re-arrange the Bath game for the Friday night of that weekend, then Euan would be available for that.

"And with one of Scotland's games at the Rugby World Cup on a Sunday, Murray will return to the north-east raring to go for the Falcons Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign."

The club reported that Murray should be available for 10 of the Falcons' 13 remaining Premiership fixtures.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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