Newcastle Falcons to give Bates the boot

Newcastle Falcons are said to be preparing to give coach Steve Bates the sack today despite the Premiership club denying the rumours last week.

According to local paper the Journal, Bates was informed by a letter sent out on Thursday he had to attend a meeting scheduled for this afternoon, which forms part of a coaching review at the Kingston Park club.

Bates will not know until the meeting that he he will lose his job which he has held for two years since taking over from John Fletcher and Peter Walton at the end of the 2007-8 season.

Bates’ assistant coach Alan Tait will take over the role but will not be handed the director of rugby role immediately and will take charge of this weekend’s clash against London Wasps on an interim caretaker basis.

The former British and Irish Lions and Scotland centre took control in training yesterday in Bates’ absence.

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