Newcastle Falcons launch partnership with Newcastle University Sport

Thursday 30 May 2024 Written by: Tom Grisedale

Newcastle Falcons and Newcastle University Sport are delighted to announce that a new partnership agreement has been signed.

The partnership is built upon utilising expertise, experience, and connections that each organisation has to maximise impact that will see both Newcastle University Sport and Newcastle Falcons fully committed to supporting the full breadth of opportunity available within each organisation.

From Foundation and community delivery, connecting with academic courses, workforce development, marketing, and communications, as well as supporting elite level rugby through a player pathway from university to professional rugby.

Supporting and developing talented rugby players is one element of the partnership that is particularly exciting, providing opportunities for aspiring professional rugby players to gain a degree at Newcastle University, represent Team Newcastle in BUCS whilst also being contracted to play for Newcastle Falcons.

This performance pathway has already had significant success offering a variety of routes to professional rugby, some players receiving senior team or academy contracts whilst studying at Newcastle University, whilst others already involved in Falcons Academy have gone to study full time whilst continuing their rugby journey, with a few even receiving international caps.

With Newcastle Falcons coaching staff supporting director of rugby Darren Fearn who is also head coach of England Rugby Students, Newcastle University Rugby Club is in an excellent position of strength to continue producing professional rugby players.

Darren Fearn, director of rugby at Newcastle University said: “The development of players is at the forefront of our programme, therefore, to have this partnership with the Newcastle Falcons is really exciting for many reasons.

“The partnership has most recently played a part in the development of Phil Brantingham, Ollie Fletcher, Marcus Tiffen, Adam Scott & Zach Kerr who have all donned the Newcastle University jersey & played first team rugby for Newcastle Falcons”.

The partnership will also benefit community sport and physical activity programmes across the North East through connecting Falcon Foundation delivery to academic courses at Newcastle University, utilising specialist knowledge at the University and providing student workforce opportunities.

Areas that will be focused on are sport science and nutrition, educating young women and girls on health topics impacting physical activity, and supporting delivery to school and college aged pupils.

Newcastle Falcons commercial director, Rebecca Thompson, said: “We are delighted to bring together two of the city’s most well-known and respected institutions for a partnership which makes perfect sense.

“Our shared commitment to developing elite athletes and promoting sporting excellence makes this a natural link with many mutual benefits, including the community and commercial spheres.”

Those who attend Newcastle University, Kingston Park or take part in Newcastle Rugby Foundations programmes can expect to see each organisation’s brand as both proudly showcase the partnership through facility banners, promotion across social and digital platforms and student priced tickets available for Falcon’s home fixtures.

Katy Storie, director of sport at Newcastle University said: “We are extremely proud of our ongoing partnership with Newcastle Falcons. Our collaboration far exceeds the performance element of rugby, an area of great importance to us, as we look to expand delivery across community engagement, student placements, shared knowledge and expertise and research opportunities.

“We are excited about new and continuing developments with the Club as a key reflection of the University’s commitment to the sport in the North East”.