Mayhew brothers sign deals with Newcastle

Michael and Richard Mayhew have both penned two-and-a-half-year deals with Aviva Premiership Rugby Club Sale Sharks.

The Auckland-born brothers as well as head coach Alan Tait gave their reaction to Falcons TV follow training yesterday.

Michael, 24, who joined the Falcons on a short term deal in September, has been in fine form in recent weeks to earn a contract extension with the club.

The hooker has played 13 times for the northeasterners this campaign scoring two tries including the crucial touchdown against Worcester in the dying minutes.

That score in front of the live TV cameras last month salvaged precious Premiership points and maintained the Falcons’ home unbeaten run which now stretches to six games in all competitions.

Older brother Richard, 25, has also been rewarded for his good form on the back of eight solid displays including a man-of-the-match performance on his debut against Bath.

The back-row forward has been sidelined for the last five weeks with a knee strain and returned to the fold for last weekend’s Amlin Challenge Cup trip to Toulon.

Playing 50 minutes in the intimidating surroundings of the Stade Felix Mayol, the former Esher hit-man gave a sturdy account of himself against the star-studded French Top 14 unit.

Standing side by side the brothers revealed that it was the recent strengthening of the playing squad, the coaching set-up and the off field support instigated by Tait through new owner Semore Kurdi which convinced them to sign on the dotted line.

“We have got a great coaching set-up here at the Falcons and with the recent investment we have the best off field support I have experienced as a player with the new medical suite, analysis room, gym and training facilities at Kingston Park.” said Richard.

“I have really enjoyed my time so far in Newcastle and there are some exciting times to look forward to.

“I was not sure what to expect when I came over but I have really enjoyed the North East and the supporters are really passionate.”

Michael said: “I initially signed a short term contract until Christmas and I have really enjoyed playing for the club – now I am looking forward to the future with the Falcons.

“I am currently injured so I am trying to get myself back for this week or the next and make myself available for selection.”

Tait’s troops have three crucial games over the festive period with Sale (away), Northampton Saints (home) and Exeter Chiefs (home) all to come in quick succession.

Richard recognises the importance of these fixtures, saying: “Sale is a huge game for us and the next few weeks are massive but we will take each game as if it means everything to us.”

Falcons boss Tait was delighted that the English qualified duo committed their future to Kingston Park.

He said: “I am delighted that Michael has decided to re-sign for the club and with Richard I told him that it would be nice for him to stay with his brother.

“Richard has extended his deal to match his brother’s. This is the time of the year when we are looking to build – we are talking to players and agents at the moment.

“Hopefully this is the start of some more lads coming into the club. We are looking to strengthen the squad and there are also about 12 players we are looking to re-sign so hopefully we will get them to commit,” he added.

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