Welch to continue as Falcons captain
The 28-year-old flanker became the Falcons’ youngest ever captain at the age of just 22 back in 2012, skippering the side to the RFU Championship title in his first season and leading the club on an upward arc during their five subsequent Premiership campaigns.
Reaching the semi-finals in all three competitions last season and achieving their highest league finish in two decades, the Newcastle native spoke of his delight at being chosen to continue in the key leadership role which will include captaining the Falcons in their first Heineken Champions Cup campaign for 14 years.
“I grew up watching Newcastle Falcons, I used to come to the games when I was a kid and it’s naturally a huge honour for me every time I get to captain my home town club,” said the RGS Newcastle old boy, who passed the 200 appearance mark last season.
“The club is in a really good place at the moment, we’re well-placed to build on the progress we made last season and it’s fantastic to have so many leaders alongside me in the squad. I have vastly experienced players in key positions, and they are outstanding in helping point the team in the right direction alongside the fantastic coaching staff we have in place here.”
Director of rugby Dean Richards, who made Welch his club captain in his first season at the helm back in 2012, said: “Will has really developed as a captain and a player during his six seasons in the role.
“He is someone who leads by example rather than ranting and raving, he commands a huge amount of respect within the changing room and as a local lad he knows what it means to represent his home town team every time he takes the field.
“Will has not received the England recognition which he should have done, especially when they seem to be crying out for leaders and quality players. But he is valued immensely by those of us who see his contribution here on a daily basis, and he was the natural choice to once again captain the club in what promises to be another hugely exciting season for us.”
Newcastle Falcons host Edinburgh on Friday in their final home pre-season friendly, and are at home to champions Saracens for the start of the Gallagher Premiership on Sunday September 2.
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