Where are they now? Newcastle Falcons Premiership title-winning team

Where are they now? Newcastle Falcons Premiership title-winning team

Coached by Rob Andrew and spearheaded by Jonny Wilkinson, the Falcons just edged past Bath on the final day to win the first edition of the Premiership title. 

They won 20-15 against the Black, Blue and Whites on the final day of the season to finish top by a single point, with flanker Richard Arnold and speedster Tony Underwood scoring the tries.

But where are the famous XV from the final game of the campaign two decades ago? Read on to find out…

Newcastle Falcons Premiership title-winning team:

Fullback: Stuart Legg

The fullback scored six tries in 21 Premiership appearances that season. He left the club in 2000, signing for Biarritz where he became champion of France in 2002, delivering the decisive pass for the drop-goal from Laurent Mazas late in the game. In 2003, he joined Treviso where he played four seasons before retiring from rugby.

Winger: Jim Naylor

Wing Naylor dotted down eight times in 18 outings that term as part of a fearsome back line. He left Kingston park for Rotherham Titans in 2000 before retiring in 2001.

Centre: Jonny Wilkinson

After the 2003 World Cup triumph, he endured a succession of injury problems that interrupted his England career but he played in the 2007 World Cup final and won the Six Nations in 2011, before retiring from international rugby in the December of the same year after England’s failed World Cup campaign.

In the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours, he was promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) ‘for services to Rugby Union’. Has also set up the Jonny Wilkinson Foundation, seeking to offer life-changing support to members of his community who need it most.

DID YOU KNOW: He is the only player to score points in two Rugby World Cup Finals

Centre: Alan Tait

Following his retirement from playing he then moved into coaching, initially working with Scotland as a defence coach. Although he was dismissed from the post by Matt Williams he was later restored to that role by Williams successor Frank Hadden. In 2004 he joined the Borders as a defensive coach.

Tait then moved back to the Falcons as an assistant before assuming the top job at the Premiership club as part of a restructuring process in the wake of Steve Bates’ departure from the post of director of rugby in 2009. He held the position of Head Coach of Newcastle from 2009 to 2012 until club owner, Semore Kurdi announced Tait was ‘taking a break from rugby’ following a series of poor results.

DID YOU KNOW: Tait changed codes twice in his life, once going from rugby union to rugby league, and then going the other way after union became professional during the mid-1990s.