Newcastle Falcons to be investigated by RFU

The Rugby Football Union will investigate whether Aviva Premiership Club Newcastle Falcons abused the regulations on front-row replacements during their defeat to Northampton Saints on Saturday.

The RFU’s disciplinary officer, Jeff Blackett has called for reports from both clubs and the match officials so he can look into Newcastle’s first-half substitution of loosehead prop Kieran Brookes.

Ordinarily his substitution would be fine but Brookes reappeared after the break for tight head Tim Ryan.

Newcastle forwards coach Paul Moriarty suggested to TV reporters at half time that Brookes was taken off to give him a break from the battering Newcastle were taking up front even though League regulations do not permit the use of rolling substitutions.

A Newcastle spokesman said on Sunday that Brookes returned only when Ryan suffered a back injury early in the second half.

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