7 Jun, 15:39
ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
Arriving on the provincial coaching scene with Wairarapa Bush in 2003, Russell took them to the provincial final in only his second season in charge before delivering successive titles in the subsequent two years.
He rose to further prominence in New Zealand with the Hawke's Bay province, helping the Magpies to routinely outperform larger provinces en route to three successive ITM Cup semi-final appearances.
With additional experience as assistant coach to the Highlanders Super 15 side as well as New Zealand's Under-20s and Divisional XVs Russell will be a key addition to the Falcons staff ahead of the new season.
Russell said: "Improving the Falcons' position will be the aim and with good things in place and some good people around me we can achieve that."