Graham joins Leeds Carnegie as Freer heads to Saints
Leeds Carnegie have confirmed that they have signed Newcastle Falcons hooker Joe Graham, 25, on a season long loan after Scott Freer, 24, has gone on trial to Aviva Premiership side Northampton Saints.
Freer has a year remaining on his contract with Leeds Carnegie however he was given permission to speak to Northampton after the club enquired about his availability.
Graham arrives at Headingley Carnegie with immediate effect and is expected to be involved in the squad for this Friday’s trip to Nottingham for the opening game of the new RFU Championship season.
Making 22 appearances last term, the Brampton-born front-row penned a one-year contract extension during the summer with Newcastle.
Playing his junior rugby for Carlisle, Graham moved to Tynedale for the 2009-10 season where he scored 11 tries in 25 games for the National League One club to earn himself a permanent move to the Falcons.
He has also played for England Counties where he was coached by Leeds Carnegie Forwards Coach Dave Baldwin, who highly recommended him to the Leeds management. Baldwin commented, "Joe has got Premiership experience at Newcastle and I am delighted we have secured a player of his quality for the season. I have worked with him a few times and he has a great work ethic and is a real honest player. His set piece is very good and he is a mobile player around the pitch. He will give us plenty of options this season within our squad."
Director of Rugby Chris Gibson added, "We are pleased to have secured Joe ahead of the new season. Northampton were in a position that they wanted to sign a hooker for the new season. Scott is contracted to us and we are keen to keep him at Leeds Carnegie however we recognise the fact that if a Premiership club make it known to a player that they are interested in him, that that can become a distraction."