Falcons announce senior academy intake for 2023-24

Saturday 06 May 2023 Written by: Adam

England Under-18s internationals Finn Baker (lock), Isaac Keller (prop), Jacob Oliver (hooker) and Ben Redshaw (centre/full-back) have all signed up, as has Newcastle University lock Adam Scott.

Current senior academy players Sam Clark, Ben Douglas, Ollie Fletcher, Louie Johnson, Zach Kerr, Guy Pepper, Mike Rewcastle and Marcus Tiffen have all extended terms to remain with the club, with players already under contract being Phil Brantingham, Luke Coulston, Mark Dormer, Nathan Greenwood and Oliver Spencer.

James Blackett, Jeremy Civil, Ewan Greenlaw, Chidera Obonna and Charlie Smith are all released with the thanks and best wishes of the club, with head of academy James Ponton excited by the latest crop coming through.

He said: “Once again we have a great group of lads coming in to join our senior academy squad, and we look forward to seeing them flourish.

“Identifying and bringing through our own local talent remains absolutely vital to the long-term philosophy of the club, and the guys who are coming in will continue that proud tradition.

“They have all shown huge potential in either our junior academy, their international age-group rugby or their school and university programmes, and they now have a great opportunity to take that next step into a fully-professional environment.”


**FINN BAKER** *– Lock, 17/10/2004, Height: 201cm (6 foot 7), Weight: 100kg (15 stone 10).*

Originally from Harrogate, the England Under-18s international joins on a two-year deal. A line-out specialist, Baker is known as an intelligent player and has come through Sedbergh School.

**ISAAC KELLER** *– Prop, 30/3/2005, Height: 184cm (6 foot), Weight: 114kg (17 stone 13).*

Born in Bielefeld, Germany, England Under-18s prop Keller attended school in Ponteland before joining the Falcons’ ACE programme at Gosforth Academy. A big ball-carrier who is known for his speed and skill, he was part of the England team which defeated Ireland U18s in Dublin recently and joins on a one-year deal.

**JACOB OLIVER** *– Hooker, 15/3/2005, Height: 177cm (5 foot 10), Weight: 95kg (14 stone 13).*

The Barnard Castle Schoolboy captained the Falcons’ Under-18s team and joins on a one-year deal, looking to build on his highly-promising work in the ball-carrying and contact aspects of the game.

**BEN REDSHAW** *– Centre/full-back, Height: 10/1/2005, Height: 185cm (6 foot), Weight: 80kg (12 stone 8).*

England Under-18s captain Ben has already been capped by England Under-19s a year young, with the versatile Sedbergh Schoolboy playing predominantly at full-back and centre. Leeds-born Ben joins on a two-year deal, and is known as a balanced runner with pace and evasion skills who is also deceptively powerful.

**ADAM SCOTT** *– Lock, 27/11/01, Height: 199cm (6 foot 6), Weight: 110kg (17 stone 4).*

By far the oldest of the Falcons’ senior academy intake, 22-year-old lock Adam has just graduated from Newcastle University, for whom he was a regular starter. Hailing from Walbottle and playing his junior rugby with Northern FC, the athletic and skilful second-rower joins on a one-year deal.