Next Generation primed as Aviva U18 League kicks off

Saturday 13 December 2014 Written by: Adam

The aspiring stars of Falcons teams of the future will be in action at Carrington in Manchester this Sunday (December 14th) as they take on Sale Sharks in their first Academy Under 18 League game of the season (kick off at 2pm).

All of the Falcons competitors in the northern pool have already played one game in October but this was the Falcons ‘free week’ so the games will now come thick and fast for the youngsters with a game against Yorkshire Carnegie at Kingston Park next weekend, followed by away trips to Gloucester Rugby and Northampton Saints early in the new year before two more home games to finish the campaign against Worcester Warriors and Leicester Tigers.

Academy Manager Mark Laycock said “The Under 18 League is a great environment for young aspiring players to showcase their talent against the best players from around the country. A lot of them have only been playing club or school rugby up until now with the way the League is structured. The elite and aspirational playing pathways in England are now more segregated than before so a lot of the players on show will not have played any county rugby this year, meaning this is their opportunity to showcase their ability in what is a very physical and intense competition. The reality is that some of the players will go on to play at the highest level, most will go on to play a good standard of adult rugby and for some the under 18 league will be the highest level of rugby that they play. I think the key focus for our squad is on playing as well as they can as individuals and a team and learning to win rugby matches along the way.”

“Impressing in the Academy League is certainly not the only route into professional rugby, however, it is the most common route for those who are ready to make the step up at 18 years of age. Last season Harry Snowdon, James Christie and Dan Taylor all played in the Under 18 League before moving onto senior academy contracts and the year before that players such as Glen Young, Tom Penny, Sean Brown and Zach Kibirige played for the Falcons under 18s, all of whom have since gone on to start games for the Falcons 1st XV.”

“We are fortunate to have good universities in the region as well as a strong club scene so those that are not quite ready for professional rugby when they leave school or college can develop within the region and push through later on like a number of players have done in the past. This time last year Sean Robinson and Simon Hammersley were playing for Durham University and since the start of this season they have over 20 first team appearances between them.”


1 Angus Fulton (Gosforth Academy, Carlisle RFC, Cumbria)
2 Jack Beckwith (Barnard Castle School, Consett RFC, Durham)
3 Elliot Beattie (Gateshead College, Blaydon RFC, Durham)
4 Aidan Coulthard (West Lakes College, Egremont RFC, Cumbria)
5 Harry Borthwick (Berwick RFC, Borders)
6 Joe Craggs (Gosforth Academy, Darlington Mowden Park RFC, Durham)
7 Jonny Teague (Yarm School, Darlington Mowden Park RFC, Durham)
8 Callum Chick (Gosforth Academy, Ponteland RFC, Northumberland)
9 Ruaridh Dawson (Newcastle School for Boys, Blaydon RFC, Northumberland)
10 Sam Leeming (Barnard Castle School, Durham)
11 Ben Stevenson (Yarm School, Middlesbrough RFC, Durham)
12 Lloyd Purser (Durham School, Durham City RFC, Durham)
13 Callum Burn (c) (Kirkley Hall College, Alnwick RFC, Northumberland)
14 Dan Marshall (Gosforth Academy, Ponteland RFC, Northumberland)
15 Johnny McPhillips (Sedbergh School, Cumbria)

16 Jamie Blamire (Gosforth Academy, Workington Zebras RFC, Cumbria)
17 Christian White (Austin Friars School, Dumfries RFC, Cumbria)
18 Adam Mohammed Gosforth Academy, Northern RFC, Northumberland)
19 James Jennings (Barnard Castle School, Durham)
20 Ged Key (Penrith RFC, Cumbria)
21 Charlie Gowling (Sedbergh School, Cumbria)
22 Garry Izomor (Durham School, Durham City RFC, Durham)
23 Yousef Sahib (Carlisle College, Carlisle RFC, Cumbria)


14 Dec 14 Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons
20 Dec 14 Newcastle Falcons v Yorkshire Carnegie
03 Jan 15 Gloucester Rugby v Newcastle Falcons
10 Jan 15 Northampton Saints v Newcastle Falcons
24 Jan 15 Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors
07 Feb 15 Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers