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Hudson to leave Falcons in the summer
JAMES Hudson will swap Newcastle Falcons for Gloucester this summer, but the former skipper is determined to sign off his Kingston Park career by helping his current employers back into the Premiership.
Hudson, who has made 11 starts and five replacement appearances for Falcons this season, has confirmed he will move to Kingsholm at the end of the Championship season.
The 31-year-old lock forward handed over his captaincy duties to Will Welch last year, but remains a key member of a Falcons pack that remains unbeaten this term.
Newcastle are assured of finishing the regular season on top of the table, and with the Championship play-offs set to mark the end of a four-year association with the club, Hudson is determined to sign off in style.
"I've enjoyed my time hugely with the Falcons," he said. "They've been a massive part of my career, and I'm fully committed to playing my part in helping them regain their Premiership status before I leave.
"However, I felt now was the time for a new challenge - I've always enjoyed playing at Kingsholm as an away player, it's a fabulous stadium with a passionate crowd.
"My priority now is to finish what we've started at the Falcons and, hopefully, I'll be facing Newcastle as a Gloucester player in the Premiership next season."
Hudson is the second high-profile player to announce his departure from Falcons this month, with fly-half Jimmy Gopperth due to join Irish side Leinster.
Hudson's departure leaves Scott MacLeod and Carlo del Fava as the only senior second rowers on Falcons' books for next season, although Sean Tomes and James Goode's futures are still to be discussed.
"I'm sure I speak on behalf of everyone at the club in wishing James all the very best with his next career move," said Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards.
"James has been an integral part of the club during his time here, and a great servant who now has his sights firmly set on helping Newcastle Falcons bounce back to the Premiership."