Rory Jennings joins Newcastle Falcons

Thursday 22 June 2023 Written by: Adam

The 27-year-old plays fly-half or centre and has spent the past two seasons with London Irish, having arrived in 2021 from French giants Clermont.

Englishman Jennings is a product of the Bath academy who played five Premiership games for the West Country outfit before joining Coventry, where he was joint top-scorer during the 2020-21 campaign.

Playing for England Under-20s in the 2015 Junior World Championship final against New Zealand, he stands at 176cm (5 foot 9) and 84kg (13 stone 3).

Jennings made 19 appearances for London Irish last season, 11 of them in the Gallagher Premiership and four in the Heineken Champions Cup, with Newcastle Falcons head coach Alex Codling delighted to have him on board.

Codling said: “Rory brings with him a lot of different qualities and is someone that I’ve worked with before, so I know he’s a great character.

“He’s been a key part of a London Irish team who played exceptionally well last season and I’m looking forward to seeing him make a really positive impact here.

“He’s very comfortable playing either at centre or fly-half and he has a great ability to play at the line, which will suit the way we want to play. That option to have him as a second receiver gives us great flexibility, but he’ll make a big contribution wherever he plays.”

Glad to have his future secured following the news that London Irish will not compete in the upcoming Gallagher Premiership, Jennings said: “First and foremost I’m really excited to be joining Newcastle Falcons and to be given the opportunity.

“I want to get stuck in straightaway and contribute to the group, but of course it would be remiss of me not to mention the recent events at London Irish. The club and supporters there have given me a huge amount over the past two years, which I’ll never forget.

“It’s been a tremendously difficult time affecting a lot of really good people, but it doesn’t take away from the fact a new opportunity has opened up for me at Newcastle. I’m really thankful for that and I’ve heard a lot of good things about the club.

“I worked with the Falcons’ new head coach Alex Codling for a brief period when I went on loan from Bath to Ealing, and know him to be a very good coach. It’ll be great to link up with him again, and I know quite a few of the other players already from either playing with them or meeting them around various things.”

Looking forward to making an impact at Kingston Park, he added: “I’m very competitive and I’ll give absolutely everything for every second I’m on the pitch or in the training environment.

“I’ve played fly-half and centre plenty of times, and I’m happy to play wherever I’m needed. I’ll go wherever the coaches want me and wherever’s best for the team, and I can’t wait to get up there next week to begin the journey.

“As a visiting player I know Newcastle to be a very difficult place to come and get a result at, so I’d imagine they’ll be looking to build on that whole fortress mentality. It will be good to be on the other side of that, and the North-East crowd always seem like they get right into it.

“Away from the rugby it just seems like a great city with friendly people, and I’ll try to throw myself into getting out and about round the region. It’s a great opportunity from both a rugby and lifestyle point of view, and as sad as it was the way things panned out at London Irish I’m just grateful to have this chance.”

Jennings becomes the Falcons’ 12th senior signing following the previously-announced arrivals of Murray McCallum (Edinburgh), Eduardo Bello (Saracens), Cameron Hutchison (Edinburgh), Hugh O’Sullivan (London Irish), Tim Cardall (Melbourne Rebels), Louis Brown (Coventry), Ollie Leatherbarrow (Exeter Chiefs), Kiran McDonald (ex-Munster), Bryan Byrne (Bristol Bears), Josh Bainbridge (Coventry) and John Kelly (Doncaster Knights).

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**Position:** Fly-half/centre

**Born:** 24/12/1995

**Height:** 1.76m (5ft 9)

**Weight:** 84kg (13st 3)

**Honours:** England U20