Ryan Cross
Falcons confident

English rugby union club the Newcastle Falcons remain confident of landing star signing Ryan Cross, despite speculation linking the Australian centre with a return to rugby league.

The 18-times-capped Wallaby had been lined up as the Falcons’ flagship acquisition – only to see reports in Australia regarding a potential move to NRL side Wests Tigers.

Cross was spotted in a Sydney cafe with Tigers coach Tim Sheens over the weekend, and did little to dampen the rumours when talking to an Australian newspaper.

“Definitely rugby league has always been close to my heart, and I’ve grown up with it,” he said.

“I do still want to continue playing football – the body feels good. Obviously, my dad played at the Tigers, and I was a supporter as a kid, so hopefully something can be worked out.”

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Those were not the words that Newcastle Falcons officials had been hoping to read, especially after the effort already exerted on securing a work permit for their star target.

Having wasted no time in contacting the player’s representative to clarify the situation, Kingston Park bosses are now satisfied that any talk of a league switch was merely a Plan B in the event of his Tyneside transfer falling through.

With the financial side of that deal already agreed, the only stumbling block remains the successful acquisition of a work permit for the 18-times-capped Wallaby star.