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The Newcastle Thunder are a professional rugby league club based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. They play in the Bet Fred League 1 competition, the third tier of rugby league in the United Kingdom. They play their home matches at Kingston Park, also home to rugby union side Newcastle Falcons. The club was known as Gateshead Thunder until 2015.

Newcastle Thunder
Newcastle Thunder logo.svg
Club information
Full nameNewcastle Thunder Rugby League Football Club
Short nameNewcastle
Founded1999 (as Gateshead Thunder)
Current details
ChairmanSemore Kurdi
CaptainMisi Taulapapa
CompetitionLeague 1
2018 season8th
Challenge CupsQuarter finalists (2009)
League 11 (2008)
Most capped217 - Robin Peers
Highest points scorer449 - Benn Hardcastle



The club was formerly known as Gateshead Thunder, and played their home games at Gateshead International Stadium in Gateshead. The club was formed by supporters of the original Gateshead Thunder after that organisation made the decision to relocate to Hull at the end of the 1999 season. [1] The new club entered the Northern Ford Premiership for the 2001 season, however they struggled to compete, and eventually finished 17th out of the 19 clubs. [2]

Gateshead continued to struggle in the following season, finishing bottom of the league in 2002. [3] When the Northern Ford Premiership was split into two divisions for the 2003 season the club joined National League Two, and again finished in the bottom two, being kept off the bottom only by new entrants London Skolars. [4] The club's fortunes began to improve in 2005, a seventh place finish being enough to gain a first ever place in the play-offs, before losing to Workington Town in their first ever play-off game. [5] The club again finished seventh in 2006, but went on to lose 46–18 to Featherstone Rovers in the play-offs. [6]

In 2008 the club won its first silverware, finishing the season as League 1 champions. [7] As champions, the club were promoted to the Championship, and avoided on-field relegation by finishing seventh under coach Steve McCormack [8] Thunder's joy at securing a second season in the second tier was however short-lived, as the club was wound up following a dispute between the directors. A new company was formed to continue the club, however the club had to restart as a Championship 1 side, effectively being relegated for the 2010 season. [9]

Gateshead Thunder were taken over by the owners of rugby union side Newcastle Falcons in 2015 [10]. The club was rebranded as Newcastle Thunder and applied for permission to use Kingston Park in Newcastle as their home ground.[11]

Further silverware was earned in 2016, when Newcastle defeated North Wales Crusaders to win the League 1 Shield [12]

2009 shirt
Gateshead Thunder emblem
Kingston Park, seen during a Newcastle Falcons game

Kit manufacturers and sponsorsEdit

Years Kit Manufacturer Main Shirt Sponsor
1999 Avec Northern Electric & Gas
2000-2001 exito none
2004-2005 Halbro Halbro
2006 Nike none
2010 XBlades GMC Transport Limited
2011-2012 Puma
2013 Stag Jack Coupe and Sons
2014 Gateshead College
2015 Impact Gizmowizard
2016 Errea Greene King IPA
2017 ISC PTM Group

2019 squadEdit

Newcastle Thunder 2019 Squad
First team squad Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coach

  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)

Updated: 11 February 2019
Source(s): 2019 Squad Numbers

2019 transfersEdit


Player Club Contract length Date
  Ben Dent York City Knights 1 year December 2017[13]
  Aaron Ollett Dewsbury Rams 1 year November 2017[14]
  Conor Fitzsimmons Castleford Tigers 1 year November 2017[15]
  Keal Carlile Featherstone Rovers N/A September 2018
  Alex Rowe Batley Bulldogs N/A September 2018
  Jared Blanke Lezignan Sangliers 2 Years August 2018
  Liam Finn Wakefield Trinity Wildcats N/A August 2018
  Misi Taulapapa Featherstone Rovers 1 year November 2018
  Kieran Gill Castleford Tigers 1 year loan November 2018
  Jy-mel Coleman London Skolars 1 year December 2018
  Carne Doyle-Manga Norths Devils 2 year February 2019
  Joel Edwards N/A until end of season May 2019


Player Club Contract length Date
  Ben Pointer Sheffield Eagles 1 year October 2018
  Tee Ritson Barrow Raiders N/A October 2018
  Liam Scott London Skolars N/A November 2018


Correct to September 2017 [16]

Player recordsEdit

  • Most tries in a match: 5 by Andy Walker vs London Skolars 22 June 2003
  • Most points in a season: 246 by Chris Birch, 2005
  • Most career tries: 64 by Kevin Neighbour, 2001-2013
  • Most career goals: 137 by Paul Thorman, 2001–2004
  • Most career points: 365 by Paul Thorman, 2001–2004

Team recordsEdit

  • Biggest win:
98-6 v.   West Wales (at Kingston Park Stadium, 23 September 2018)
  • Biggest defeat:
132-0 v.   Blackpool (at Memorial Stadium, 16 May 2010)

Attendance recordsEdit

  • Highest all time attendance:
6,631 v.   Bradford (at Gateshead International Stadium, 16 May 1999)


Winners (1): 2008
Winners (1): 2016

Former playersEdit


Newcastle Thunder run player development programmes for U12 through to U16’s

Thunder also run a U16 Scholarship side and an U19 Academy side that play in the Super League U19’s structure

The 2018 u16 team has seen wins against London Broncos, Widnes Vikings and Leeds Rhinos and the u19’s picking up an early season win against Wakefield Trinity


  1. ^ "Club History". Newcastle Thunder. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  2. ^ "2001 Season". Cherry & White (RLFans). Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  3. ^ "2002 Season". Cherry & White (RLFans). Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  4. ^ "2003 Season". Cherry & White (RLFans). Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  5. ^ "2005 Season". Cherry & White (RLFans). Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  6. ^ "2006 Season". Cherry & White (RLFans). Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Newcastle Thunder". Evening Chronicle. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  8. ^ "McCormack joy as Thunder survive". BBC Sport. 7 September 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Gateshead rescue bid gathers pace". BBC Sport. 26 October 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Newcastle Thunder to soar under new ownership, predicts Brian Carney". Evening Chronicle. 26 May 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Newcastle Thunder: Gateshead rugby league side relocates". BBC Sport. BBC. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  12. ^ "Sunday 18th September 2016 Match Report". Rugby Football League. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Dent moves north for 2018". Newcastle Thunder. 4 December 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Ollett secures Thunder switch from Dewsbury". Newcastle Thunder. 20 November 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  15. ^ "Castleford youngster Fitzsimmons joins Newcastle". Pontefract & Castleford Express. 15 November 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Records and Honours". Newcastle Thunder. Retrieved 7 September 2017.

External linksEdit