25-year anniversary of Falcons’ league title

Wednesday 17 May 2023 Written by: Adam

Following promotion from the National Division 2, Newcastle Falcons to this day remain the only club to secure the title a year after being promoted to the top flight.

The club finished top of the table with 38 points, just one point ahead of second placed Saracens.

Falcons recorded 19 victories throughout the 1997-98 season, suffering only three losses to Richmond, Saracens and London Wasps.

The star-studded side included England internationals Rob Andrew and Tony Underwood, cross-code All Black and Samoan International Inga Tuigamala, British and Irish Lions stars Alan Tait and John Bentley as well as Scotland legends Doddie Weir and Gary Armstrong.

The season also saw the emergence of England World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson to the Falcons fold.

Throughout the campaign the North East outfit were leaders in attack, scoring the most points and recording the most tries as well as being formidable in defence, conceding the fewest points and tries.

Rob Andrew topped the club’s points scoring chart with 226 to his name, finishing sixth in the league, and scrum-half Gary Armstrong led the way for tries for the Falcons with 13, claiming third overall.

The Falcons were crowned Champions on the final day of the season away at NEC Harlequins on May 17, 1998.

In front of an 8,897 strong crowd at the Twickenham Stoop, Newcastle emerged comfortable victors with a 20-44 win.