by Brendan Cole

Munster scrum-half Peter Stringer will join Newcastle Falcons on a short-term loan when his current arrangement with Saracens expires in early March.

The 98-times capped Ireland international has been on loan with Guinness Premiership champions Saracens since December, providing cover after serious injuries to Neil de Kock and Richard Wigglesworth.

Wigglesworth will miss the rest of the season due to a knee problem that requires surgery but De Kock, who fractured his arm in February, returned to the bench for Sarries' last minute defeat to Leicester at the weekend.

Munster will play Ulster in the Heineken Cup quarter-final in April, and could meet Saracens in the final of the competition if both sides make it that far.

Saracens are set to host Clermont-Auvergne in their last-eight clash. Stringer has already played for them in the competition.

Commenting on Stringer’s impact, Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall said: "Peter has been a brilliant addition to the squad, on and off the field, and we are sorry his three-month loan spell will come to an end after our match against Northampton on 4 March."

Stringer will be available for six Premiership games in total for Newcastle, starting with the game against Harlequins on 12 March.

His future at Munster remains uncertain. Long-time rival Tomás O'Leary is reportedly considering a move to Perpignan but Conor Murray has supplanted both at the head of the scrum-half pecking order. Duncan Williams is also picking up gametime.

The province will appoint a new head coach at the end of the season with current boss Tony McGahan set to join the the Australian national setup as defence coach.