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Newcastle Falcons’ nightmare is over and Diamond is ready to take them to new heights

Many fans will consider a trip to Newcastle Falcons to be unimportant or an ‘easy win’. For most, it is a long and arduous journey from the south where most of the Premiership clubs are based.

The thought of travelling hours to see what is most likely to be a one-sided match is simply unappealing. One man is trying to change all that and he might just be making some progress in his quest to bring success to the most northerly parts of England. 

Steve Diamond is a familiar name within the rugby world. A Sale Sharks legend who made over 300 appearances for the Premiership team, he is also best known for his long stint in charge in Manchester.

After brief spells at Worcester and Edinburgh, Diamond take on arguably his toughest job to date, saving Newcastle Falcons. 

Newcastle have been in steady decline for the past few seasons. In 2018 they were just 80 minutes from a Premiership final, but just a year later they were relegated to the Championship. Since their return to the top flight, they have finished 10th, 12th, 11th and 10th respectively. 

Despite the clear safety-net of the lack of relegation, Newcastle have shown no signs of improvement. They finished the 2023/2024 season without a win to their name, with their last Premiership victory coming in March of last year. 

Diamond’s appointment in January 2024 appeared to be a shrewd move. A man who genuinely cares about rugby and is intensely focused on success. In his short time at the club so far, there are signs of positive progression. Paired with his direct and frank attitude, Diamond is fast reinstating his position as a fan favourite throughout the sport. 

Fallout post Bristol Bears

Gabriel Ibitoye scores vs Newcastle Falcons-Credit: IMAGO

Gabriel Ibitoye scores vs Newcastle Falcons-Credit: IMAGO

Following Newcastle’s 85-14 defeat to Bristol Bears, he expressed his anger over his side’s performance. Not only is this an appropriate reaction to what was an awful performance by Newcastle, it was also refreshing to see Diamond’s attitude surrounding the result.

Speaking to TNT Sports after the game, Diamond said: “It’s uncharted waters for me and for most of the lads in there. We’ve come across a very good side on form, and we’re obviously lacking in confidence.”

He added: “We didn’t touch the ball in the first 13 or 14 minutes and we’d conceded three tries. I think the game was over then, so disappointed really. A disappointing day all round.”

“The only positive is the slow process I’ve embarked on to change the club,” he continued. “It’s a step in the right direction because it’s made some decisions for me.”

Simply put: Diamond cares deeply about rugby in the north of England and is utterly determined to help Newcastle achieve success.  

Newcastle’s nightmare campaign has ended and there is now plenty of time and opportunity to build the foundations for next season. The club is blessed with youth this season. In the form of Ben Redshaw, Ben Douglas and Ollie Spencer, the future is bright in the northeast. Despite losing some big names such as Guy Pepper and Phil Brantingham to Premiership rivals, Newcastle can improve significantly. 

The Steve Diamond effect on Newcastle Falcons

Newcastle Falcons Consultant Director of Rugby Steve Diamond-Credit: IMAGO

Newcastle Falcons Consultant Director of Rugby Steve Diamond-Credit: IMAGO

Diamond is a no-nonsense coach who knows how to win and what is needed. For too long, Newcastle have appeared to have had a fickle attitude towards players and coaches. A simple lack of ambition to excel has cost them dearly where clubs all around them have improved tenfold.

This is best shown by the final Premiership standings. It reveals a huge step down in performance from those challenging for playoffs and those dwindling in the lower part of the league. Seven teams remained in the play-off hunt until the final round, and only Leicester, Newcastle and Gloucester went into the final day with absolutely nothing on the line.

Due to relegation being scrapped, Newcastle have been able to write off this season and prepare for the next. Steve Diamond’s men will come back firing but it remains to be seen how well they will have improved on a limited budget. Whatever the case, Diamond is the perfect man for the job and the rebuild has only just begun.