Two more seasons for Iwan Stephens
The cross-code convert scored tries in each of his first three appearances against Harlequins, Bath and Wasps, and last month made his international debut for England Under-20s.
A former England Under-18s rugby league international, Stephens joined the Falcons in the summer of 2020 from Super League side Leeds Rhinos, saying: “I’ve signed another two-year contract with Newcastle and I see this as a really good opportunity for me.
“In my first year here I was just getting into it, and even though I’d played a bit of rugby union as a kid it was basically just a case of learning the game. This current season is my second in union, and it was great to have that spell at the start where I played against Harlequins and Bath, scoring in both games.
“I then went away to Blaydon to continue my development, came back in for the Cup win over Wasps and suffered an injury setback during that game which kept me out for a few months. I’m back fit now, though, I’ve played a couple of games and I’m just looking to keep learning and improving over the next two and a bit seasons here.”
The son of former Wales fly-half Colin Stephens, Iwan has battled back from a knee injury, starting the recent Premiership Rugby Cup game at Northampton and scoring a try in last weekend’s 57-26 home win over Scottish side, Heriot’s.
“Any player will tell you that being injured for any period of time is pretty hard to take, but you’ve just got to get your head around it and work hard on your gym and rehab,” said Stephens, who turned 20 last month.
“That’s what I’ve tried to do, and I’m loving being back among the lads every day now in training.
“We’ve got an exciting group of predominantly English lads, a lot coming through the Falcons’ own system, and I think the future’s looking good for the club. There’s a lot of competition for places on the wing and in the back three, but everyone’s really supportive and we look to learn from each other.
“I’m improving my understanding of the game with the help of the coaches and other players here, and it’s a good environment to be in.”
Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “Iwan is an extremely exciting player who gets supporters on their feet, and has a real X-factor about him.
“He has come a long way in a very short space of time when you consider he was a virtual novice to rugby union just two years ago, but he is working hard on his game understanding and showing really positive progress.
“With his pace and footwork he’s someone who makes things happen, and he’s another young, English-qualified player who fits in to what we’re trying to build here.”
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