Mayerhofler stays on as cover for Falcons

Newcastle Falcons’ All Black centre Mark Mayerhofler has agreed to stay at the club until November this year.

The 34-year-old will remain a Falcon until November 1, covering for what is expected to be a number of midfield call-ups during the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

In his five seasons at Newcastle the former Canterbury, Crusaders and New Zealand star has made 89 competitive appearances, scoring eight tries.

“Mark has been a supremely consistent performer for the club during his time with us,” said Newcastle coach John Fletcher.

“He had planned to return home to New Zealand at the conclusion of this season, but with so many of our inside backs expected to be involved in the World Cup he has agreed to stay with us until they return.

“That is a massive plus for us during a time when we expect to have a number of players away on international duty. We know exactly what we are getting with Mark, a very experienced player who leads by example and will be a vital part of our plans during the early part of the season.”

Meanwhile, Fletcher also confirmed that Mayerhofler will miss the rest of the current campaign after going under the knife to rectify a longstanding shoulder problem.

“Mark has really put his body on the line over the last six weeks by playing with his shoulder, and we have had to manage the injury during this time,” the Falcons coach said.

“With four of our inside backs away on Six Nations duty his presence in the side was absolutely vital, and he has coped tremendously in playing through this period.

“The operation had been scheduled for a while and we were just waiting for the end of the Six Nations to get it done. What it means is that he will now miss the remainder of the current season, but will be back firing on all cylinders for the big kick-off in September.”

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