John Hardie in Newcastle squad to face former club Edinburgh in Heineken Champions Cup

John Hardie in action for Edinburgh in last year's PRO14 tournament. He could line up for Newcastle against his former side this weekend. Picture: SNS Group
John Hardie in action for Edinburgh in last year's PRO14 tournament. He could line up for Newcastle against his former side this weekend. Picture: SNS Group
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Newcastle Falcons have added Scotland flanker John Hardie to their Heineken Champions Cup squad for this Sunday’s match against his former club Edinburgh.

The 30-year-old openside left Edinburgh at the end of last season after serving a suspension during it for gross misconduct.

The New Zealand-born player, who has 16 Scotland caps, has since been looking to rebuild his career at Newcastle after signing a short-term deal at the end of October.

Hardie was not registered in Falcons’ European squad but clubs are allowed a certain number of replacements and, while Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards chose not to last week ahead of the meeting between the sides at BT Murrayfield, which Edinburgh won 31-13, he has brought him ahead of Sunday’s return at Kingston Park.

Richards has also registered tighthead Jack Payne following the controversial circumstances last week in which tournament organisers refused to allow him to be added after the deadline.

Following a spate of injuries within 24 hours that left Newcastle with no specialist tighthead prop available for the trip to Scotland, Richards was angered by a situation he said had safety implications.

Neither Edinburgh or Glasgow, who face Lyon at home on Saturday, have made any additions to their squads this week.