There has been a significant change on the Rugby League landscape in the North East today, as Kingstone Press Championship One outfit Gateshead Thunder have been taken over by Rugby Union outfit Newcastle Falcons.
The move – which had been mooted for some time, and reported on by League Express in the past – sees the Falcons secure a controlling stake in the Thunder with immediate effect. They will continue to play at Gateshead International Stadium – their current home – until the end of the current 2014 season, before assessing whether to move long-term at the end of the year.
Head coach Stanley Gene will remain in charge of the Gateshead side in his first season, with Thunder just two places off the bottom in Championship One. Premiership side Falcons will combine resources and share facilities with Thunder as part of the agreement.