Falcons name squad for Premiership Rugby 7s
Newcastle Falcons have named an exciting squad bursting with pace and creativity for the Premiership Rugby 7s in Northampton on July 27-28.
Blending players who formed the 2017 squad along with a number of the club’s most promising young players, it is a line up that is aiming to go a step better than last season and lift the trophy they last won back in 2011.
Retained from the squad which reached last year’s final are Glen Young, Simon Uzokwe, Adam Radwan, Ben Stevenson and George Wacokecoke, who all made notable contributions through the tournament’s 2017 edition, with Newcastle bolstering their group with a number of the club’s most promising young players.
England Under-18s quartet Tom Marshall, Rob Farrar, Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti and Will Montgomery are all included after graduating to the Falcons’ senior academy, while Zach Kibirige adding his finishing prowess to the wing after helping Newcastle to the final of the World Club 10s in Mauritius last month.
Another player who impressed during that competition, summer signing Connor Collett is also selected as the highly rated Englishman gains further game time after joining the club from North Harbour in the summer.
James Elliott and Joel Matavesi complete the line-up for the competition which will be shown live on BT Sport.
The Falcons squad will once again be under the guidance of first team skills coach and academy manager Mark Laycock, who said: “We’ve put together an exciting group of players for the Premiership Rugby 7s and we will be a challenge for any side.
“A number of this group helped us to the final of the World Club 10s in Mauritius where we only lost narrowly to South African Super Rugby side the Bulls in the final, and we have a lot of pace allied to our work rate and creativity.
“We always enjoy playing in the Premiership Rugby 7s, it’s a great showcase for many of our up-and-coming players and we will once again look forward to having a real push at the main prize.”
After using the Premiership 7s to launch into a season that saw him named as the Anglo-Welsh Cup breakthrough player of the season and finish as top try scorer in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, Radwan is eager to get this year’s competition under way.
He said: “I’m really excited for the 7s this year; it’s always something to look forward to during a tough pre season.
“This will be the third year I’ve been involved and it’s a really good tournament to be involved in. It’s the first opportunity to play for the club and put a marker out there for the season as well as giving you the chance to build some bonds with your squad-mates.
“We played well last season and made it all the way to the final, so it would be nice to get there again and hopefully lift the trophy.”
The Falcons have been pooled with Saracens and Leicester Tigers in the seven-a-side tournament at Northampton’s Franklin’s Gardens, which sees all 12 Gallagher Premiership clubs competing. The top two teams in each group will progress through to the Cup quarter-finals, with the bottom-placed teams playing in the Plate.
Newcastle kick off their campaign as the third match on opening night, starting against Saracens at 6.15pm on Friday July 27. The Falcons’ second pool match against Leicester will be a 7.45pm kick-off before attention then turns to Saturday’s knock-out stage.
**NEWCASTLE FALCONS PREMIERSHIP RUGBY 7s SQUAD**
Glen Young – 04/11/1994 – Position in 15s: Lock
Connor Collett – 05/02/1996 – Position in 15s: Back row
Simon Uzokwe – 18/10/1994 – Position in 15s: Back row
Will Montgomery – 02/02/2000 – Position in 15s: Back row
Tom Marshall – 20/10/1999 – Position in 15s: Back row
Rob Farrar – 16/03/2000 – Position in 15s: Back row
James Elliott – 29/08/1998 – Position in 15s: Scrum-half
Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti – 20/09/1999 – Position in 15s: Scrum-half
Joel Matavesi – 27/05/1996 – Position in 15s: Fly-half
George Wacokecoke – 23/10/1995 – Position in 15s: Centre
Ben Stevenson – 19/07/1998 – Position in 15s: Wing
Adam Radwan – 30/12/1997 – Position in 15s: Wing
Zach Kibirige – 28/10/1994 – Position in 15s: Wing