The new consultant director of rugby is hoping to maximise the loan system to his advantage

Newcastle Falcons are set to raid the loan market in an attempt to make themselves a competitive force again.

The Premiership’s bottom-placed club have lost all 13 of their league matches this season but consultant director of rugby Steve Diamond has a plan which he believes will rebuild the Falcons for next season.

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“There’s an opportunity for Newcastle to become a loaning club, taking players off other Premiership clubs to give them experience,” said Diamond, who is set to take charge of his first home game on Friday night when the Falcons take on Leicester.

“Clubs would rather have their players in the Premiership than the Championship – as long as they’re not playing against them – and that’s what I’m going to initiate.”

Player loans between clubs in the same division are relatively rare but with the Falcons operating on the tightest budget in the league they need to be creative.

Premiership clubs have traditionally been reluctant to share their assets with rivals but the perception of Newcastle as perennial strugglers could work in their favour.

Clubs may be more willing to loan players to a team historically not viewed as a title, or European qualification, rival.

As well as opening up the player supply line into the club, Diamond is determined to stop the talent drain out of it.

The Falcons are resigned to losing three of their brightest home-grown prospects at the end of the season with England A flanker Guy Pepper heading to Bath and Saracens snapping up age-grade internationals Louie Johnson and Phil Brantingham.

Diamond loan system and stopping young players leaving Kingston Park

“All of those decisions were taken before I came in,” said Diamond.

“Saracens and Bath are quite within their rights to go picking but that is going to change with immediate effect. The southern clubs, the ones who are perceived to have the money, won’t be cherry-picking players from Newcastle anymore.

“I’m getting to know the reasons why these lads are leaving to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“We have to get our contracting right and our ambition to the parents of these kids right and not just expect people to stay because they come from the north-east.

“I thought we might have been able to keep hold of those three. It hasn’t happened. We won’t whinge about it, we’ll give them our blessing when they leave and we will build a squad over the next two years.

“Hopefully we create some top rugby players who stay with Newcastle. It’s about giving people some ambition and about convincing them they can still play for England if they play for Newcastle.”

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