Team news: U18s named to face Yorkshire on Saturday

Friday 04 February 2022 Written by: Adam

The 2pm kick-off sees free entry and free parking, with the East Stand Tap & Tackle bar open from 12 noon and screening both Six Nations games.

The Falcons will be going for their third successive victory after beating Sale Sharks away (12-26) and Worcester at home (31-10), with head coach James Ponton keen for the team to continue their progress.

“Our last game against Worcester was a great experience for the players because there was a good number of fans at Kingston Park, we had the big screen on and it just created a bit of an atmosphere for the players,” he said.

“For those lads to play in a Premiership stadium with a good amount of noise around, it’s really good for them, and people seem to enjoy watching the kind of rugby we play.

“I’d encourage as many people as possible to come down this Saturday, and after our own game they can obviously stay on in the East Stand bar and watch the England game on the TV at 4.45pm.”

Building into their season after starting with narrow defeats at Wasps and at home to Leicester, Ponton said: “It’s just about these guys spending a bit of time together.

“We didn’t quite start the season with a bang but we’ve grown into it, and the more we’ve worked together the better we’ve got. It’s hard getting access to all the lads at the same time because they come from all over the place, which again has been a bit of an issue this week, but I guess that’s the same for all academies.

“With having a bye in the first round it felt like everyone was a step ahead of us when we first got into our games, but we’ve improved as we’ve gone on.

“In the last week we’ve had good training sessions against Newcastle University and Northumbria University, doing some 15-v-15, and that has really been a worthwhile exercise for us.

“We’ve found our way as time has gone on, and the boys are very clear about how we want to play.

“Against Worcester we were absolutely outstanding in the first half, which we won 31-5, but then for some reason we stopped playing after half-time and actually lost the second half 5-0.

“That was disappointing even though it was a good win overall, and it wasn’t through lack of trying. We were so far ahead that maybe we just moved away from what we were trying to do originally, and there were quite a few instances where one more pass would have done it.”

Assessing Saturday’s opponents, he added: “They’re called Yorkshire Academy, but they’re funded by the RFU and not affiliated any more to the Yorkshire Carnegie or Leeds club, as they’ve been known.

“They haven’t got a senior team so they stop at age 18, and it’s basically a pathway team. It must be tough for them, in many ways, but then at the same time they’ve got a big catchment area and a huge number of players to pick from, so they’ll still have plenty to offer.

“You’d never say it was a proper derby, but given the relative proximity there’ll be lads who know each other, and hopefully they’ll bring a decent number of supporters up to watch them. It should be a great atmosphere, and with the England game being on in the bar afterwards it will be a top day for anyone who loves their rugby.”

**Newcastle Falcons Under-18s team to play Yorkshire Academy (Saturday, 2pm, Kingston Park Stadium)**

15 Ben Redshaw (Sedbergh School)

14 Natty Greenwood (Gosforth Academy & Whitley Bay Rockcliff)

13 Jez Civil (Gosforth Academy & Wensleydale)

12 Will Hindle (Gosforth Academy & Blaydon)

11 Jake Metcalfe (Barnard Castle)

10 Harry Williams (Barnard Castle & Stockton)

9 Ben Douglas (Gosforth Academy & Northern)

1 Micky Rewcastle (Gosforth Academy & Blaydon)

2 Charlie Smith (Dame Allans & Novos)

3 Morgan Hall (Gosforth Academy & West Hartlepool)

4 Luke Coulston (Gosforth Academy & Penrith)

5 Ayden Knott (Gosforth Academy & Consett)

6 Breamar Murray (Sedbergh School)

7 Ewan Venerus (RGS Newcastle & Novos)

8 Zach Oldham (Gosforth Academy & Carlisle(


16 Ben Wright (Sedbergh School & Durham City)

17 Isaac Keller (Gosforth Academy & Northern)

18 Sam Birkbeck (Kirby Lonsdale)

19 Finn Baker (Sedbergh School)

20 Will Gibbons (Barnard Castle)

21 Freddie Nickalls (RGS Newcastle & Novos)

22 Will Roue (Sedbergh School)

23 Nicolas Bozzo (Sedbergh School)

**Yorkshire Academy:** 15 B Turpin, 14, G Worthington, 13 B Horberry, 12 J Howells, 11 N McCormack, 10 B Irvine, 9 J Harris (captain); 1 A Medway, 2 L Inman, 3 P Parker, 4 T Burrow, 5 T Peach, 6 J Billington, 7 J Freeman, 8 H Willard.

**Replacements:** 16 J Briggs, 17 H Derbyshire, 18 T Raymont, 19 G Heptinstall, 20 E Smith, 21 B Parkin, 22 O Aston, 23 F Yates.