Hawke's Bay coach Peter Russell has landed the Newcastle job in north England.
Russell will be head coach at the Falcons under the club's new director of rugby Dean Richards, the club confirmed today.
Russell, a long-serving coach with a good deal of success at the Magpies, saw his New Zealand career stall when he was axed from the Highlanders setup at the end of 2010 where he was an assistant coach.
Just where he will be coaching Newcastle in the English setup remains to be seen.
The Falcons finished last in this year's championship but avoided relegation when promotion hopefuls London Welsh were denied entry to the top division because of poor facilities.
London Welsh are appealing that decision with a hearing set down in London next week.
"Improving the Falcons position is the aim and with good things in place and some good people around me we can achieve that," said Russell, who also has experience with Wairarapa Bush, the New Zealand under-20s and New Zealand Divisional XVs.
Newcastle, captained by former Hurricanes and Blues first-five Jimmy Gopperth, managed just six wins and two draws from 22 games in the last English season.
Russell has always promoted an attacking brand of rugby and can take credit for the development of two current All Blacks stars, Israel Dagg and Zac Guildford while a core of Magpies players are also now in the successful Chiefs set-up in Super Rugby, including All Blacks rookie lock Brodie Retallick.
- © Fairfax NZ News