Long flies into the Falcons

Last updated at 10:52 12 May 2004

Newcastle today bolstered their forward resources by signing former England hooker Andy Long from Rotherham on a two-year contract.

The 26-year-old front rower began his career at Zurich Premiership finalists Bath but left at the end of last season following a seven-season spell at the Recreation Ground.

He found himself squeezed out by veteran Welsh hooker Jonathan Humphreys and joined Munster in a short-term deal to cover for Frankie Sheahan who was appealing against a doping ban.

With his stint at Thomond Park completed, Long moved to Rotherham shortly before Christmas but his presence was unable to prevent the Titans crashing to a Premiership whitewash and an immediate return to National League One.

Second chance

The Falcons have swooped to give him another shot in the Premiership, however, and Long hopes the move to Kingston Park will breathe new life into an international career which saw him win the last of his two Test caps back in 2001.

"I'm really pleased to have joined Newcastle. I've always admired the set-up at the club. When I left Bath last season they were one of the clubs I would have gone to," he said.

"I'm very ambitious and hope that I have a lot to offer Newcastle. It's still a big ambition of mine to play for England again and hopefully my career can take off with the Falcons."

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