Senior academy intake for 2024-25

Monday 13 May 2024 Written by: Mark Smith

Newcastle Falcons have announced an exciting senior academy intake for 2024-25, with five talented local players joining the group.

Centre Rhys Beeckmans, scrum-half Joe Davis, fly-half Junior Newton, back-rower Reuben Parsons and fellow back-rower Charlie Turnbull all step up from the junior academy, arriving on two-year deals with options for the club to extend.

England Students props Callum and Connor Hancock have already been announced as senior academy signings, with the 23-year-old twins arriving on one-year contracts after graduating from Leeds Beckett University.

Props Mark Dormer and Sam Clark are released with the thanks and best wishes of the club, with head of academy James Ponton highlighting the importance of youth as Falcons look to build for the future.

Ponton, who welcomed his five junior academy graduates at Friday night’s first team game against Bath Rugby, said: “They’ll bring an energy and enthusiasm, as you’d expect, and it’s a massive thing for them to be moved up into this environment.

“They’ll be training with the first team players every day, and we’re really lucky as a club that the senior academy lads are so closely integrated with the senior squad.

“Obviously we look after them and will modify some of the things they do from time to time, but generally speaking they will be side by side with the first team players.”

Asked about the strategic importance of the senior academy, he added: “The landscape is changing a little bit with the reduction of squad sizes, so our senior academy is going to become even more integral.

“There’ll be a little more pressure on the junior academy set-up so that guys are fully ready when they’re promoted into the senior academy, where they’ll be training full-time with the first team squad. They’ll need to transition quickly, and it’s our job as academy staff to make that process safe and seamless.

“The guys coming into the senior academy need to be robust enough and physically ready to train and play at that level, but it’s a great challenge and we’ve got some really talented lads coming through.”



Position: Centre. Born: 08/01/2006. Height: 182cm (6ft). Weight: 93kg (14st 9).

The Prudhoe-based centre attended Prudhoe Community High School before finishing his studies on the Falcons’ ACE programme at Gosforth Academy. Making five appearances for the Falcons’ U18s, Rhys was selected for the England U18s training camp and is known for his strong running, with the Blaydon RFC back able to play in a number of roles.


Position: Scrum-half. Born: 31/12/2005. Height: 168cm (5ft 5), Weight: 74kg (11st 9).

England U18s scrum-half Joe Davis scored away against France on his international debut earlier this year, with the exciting attacker hailing from Crook in Co. Durham. Joe has come through Barnard Castle School and has made 14 appearances for the Falcons’ U18s team, being renowned for his core skills.


Position: Fly-half. Born: 11/09/2005. Height: 170cm (5ft 7). Weight: 80kg (12st 8).

Junior is a fly-half with the ability to play inside centre, and finished his schooling with Sedbergh after attending Yarm School up to year 12. Hailing from Co. Durham and known for being tenacious around the contact area, Junior boasts a range of attacking threats.


Position: Back row. Born: 19/09/2005. Height: 187cm (6ft 2). Weight 107kg (16st 12).

The Cumbrian back-rower has come through the Falcons’ ACE programme at Gosforth Academy, with the Kirkby Stephen native having lived with a host family to enable him to participate in the scheme. Reuben’s junior club is Upper Eden RFC, with the 18-year-old quick off the base of the scrum and renowned for his ability in both defence and attack. Appearing eight times for the Falcons in the Premiership U18s League, Reuben was invited to an England U18s camp but unfortunately missed out on selection due to injury.


Position: Back row. Born: 02/10/2005. Height: 185cm (6ft 1). Weight: 93kg (14st 9).

Cullercoats native Charlie Turnbull is a former Sedbergh School captain who began his schooling with RGS Newcastle. His junior club is Percy Park RFC, with the athletic back-rower renowned for his power and work rate during his nine appearances for the Falcons’ U18s team.