Newcastle sign former England coach John Wells

Aviva Premiership Rugby club Newcastle Falcons have announced that former England forwards coach John Wells has joined the club until the end of the current season.

Wells, a former Leicester Tigers head coach who spent six years with England moves to Kingston Park as a specialist coach.

The 48-year-old Yorkshireman teams up with Mike Ford on Tyneside, whom he worked with during his stint at Twickenham.

Falcons director of rugby Gary Gold said: “I am incredibly delighted that John Wells has decided to come on board with the club. He is a world-class coach with a wealth of experience and he had a fantastic effect during his time at England.

“His appointment is a real demonstration of intent from club owner Semore Kurdi about the importance of keeping top-flight rugby in the North East.

“It is going to be a difficult job to keep Aviva Premiership rugby in the North East and we are in an unfortunate position in the league but we must focus on what we can control.”

Newcastle owner Mr Kurdi added: “We are delighted to welcome John on board and he is a great coach who will add more fire-power to our armoury in our fight to maintain our Aviva Premiership status.”

Wells said: “This is a great opportunity for me and I am looking forward to the challenge of helping the club secure its top-flight status.

“Newcastle Falcons is a big club which should be challenging for European Cups and Premiership titles. I am used to working in pressurised environments when every game is a cup final and that is the case between now and the end of the season.”

Wells was deputy to Dean Richards at Leicester Tigers before taking over as head coach in 2004 following Richards’ departure.

In just his first season at Welford Road, Wells guided the Tigers to the Premiership final and a place in the Heineken Cup semi-finals to underline his growing reputation in the game.

Appointed England forwards coach in 2006, Wells has worked under a string of high profile bosses including Andy Robinson, Brian Ashton, Rob Andrew and Martin Johnson.

He was part of the England set-up that reached the 2007 Rugby World Cup final in France and was instrumental in assisting Martin Johnson on the way to lifting the 2011 RBS 6 Nations Championship.

Wells’ leadership qualities stem from his playing days which saw him captain Leicester from 1991-93. He led his side to Pilkington Cup glory in 1993, the Tigers’ first Twickenham triumph in 12 years.

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