Rugby: Newcastle Falcons swoop for MacLeod

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Former Edinburgh Rugby star Scott MacLeod is poised to end a year-long stint in Japan with a transfer to Newcastle Falcons, a move that could re-ignite the 33-year-old second row’s Scotland career.

That will particularly be the case if, as expected, Falcons avoid relegation from England’s top flight due to clubs in line for promotion being unable to fulfil criteria set down.

MacLeod, who gained the last of 23 Scotland caps against Wales in 2011, says: “I am good mates with Ally Hogg (ex-Scotland) and he has told me how good the team spirit is at the club. It can only go from strength to strength under the management of (new coach) Dean Richards.”

Meanwhile, Edinburgh will begin a search for a new forwards coach after it emerged that Tom Smith would be moving to French Top 14 side Lyon.

The departure of the former Scotland and British Lions prop, revealed in the Evening News on May 4, has thrown up a string of possible replacements.

These include Simon Cross, Peter Wright and Carl Hogg, all ex-Edinburgh players.