Archer joins Newcastle as Hall keeps spending

Rugby Union
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The Independent Online
Rugby Union

STEVE BALE

The spending spree by Sir John Hall on behalf of the rugby arm of Newcastle United Sporting Club continued yesterday when three players, headed by the 21-year-old England lock Garath Archer, were added to Rob Andrew's squad.

Archer's return to Newcastle from Bristol had been well trailed, and both clubs appear to be satisfied - Newcastle to have an outstanding young forward and Bristol to be rid of a profoundly unsettling influence on the rest of their players.

He will be joined by the England A centre Andrew Blyth, one of an impending exodus of players from West Hartlepool, and Ross Nesdale, a hooker who was on the Auckland bench when the Lions played there in 1993. Although Nesdale is a non-European national, his new club say he will be eligible to play from the start of next season.

The First Division to which Newcastle aspire will move nearer its denouement tonight when Leicester, two points behind Bath with a game in hand, play Sale at Welford Road. If Sale sensed a better chance of an upset in the absence of John Liley and Rory Underwood the feeling evaporated when their own inspiration, Paul Turner, withdrew with a rib injury.

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