England 7s, England U20
Teesside-born wing Zach Kibirige signed for the Falcons academy, having helped Yarm School win the Daily Mail Vase in 2013. Kibirige made his senior debut for the club against Cross Keys in the British and Irish Cup at the age of 17, scoring against the Welsh side and following it up with an 80-metre interception try against Rotherham on his league debut. Recognised for his speed and attacking prowess, Kibirige continued to play a part in the Falcons’ cup setup throughout the remainder of the 2012-13 season before making his first appearance in the Aviva Premiership the following term against Gloucester at Kingsholm. Despite gaining wide praise, the 19-year-old’s debut was cut short when he was stretchered off the pitch with a badly broken leg, an injury which would keep him out of the game for more than a year. Kibirige has represented his country at Under 17, 18 and 20s level. His biggest moment in an England shirt to date came in the 2014 Six Nations match against Wales at Kingston Park when he collected the ball in his own 22 and beat six defenders to score a solo try which went on to become a YouTube hit, gathering over 100,000 views. In summer 2015 Kibirige added to his international honours when he was called up to the England Sevens side for the Rugby European Sevens Grand Prix Series event in Lyon, and he began the 2016-17 campaign by dotting down in the pre-season visit of Doncaster. Scoring the winner against Bath in the Anglo-Welsh Cup that season, he spent the summer of 2017 in New Zealand with the Sumner club. Ending the 2017-18 season strongly with the Falcons, Kibirige dotted down his first Premiership try against Wasps in May 2018, going on to help Newcastle reach the final of the World Club 10s in Mauritius the following month.