Newcastle Falcons: Welch and Wilson sign new deals

Will Welch (right) and Mark Wilson
Will Welch (right) and Mark Wilson helped Newcastle Falcons finished 11th in the Premiership last season

Newcastle Falcons captain Will Welch and back-row forward Mark Wilson have both signed new four-year deals, keeping them at the Premiership club until the summer of 2020.

Wilson, 26, was the top tackler in the Premiership last season with 230 in 18 appearances.

Flanker Welch, 26, became Newcastle's youngest captain in 2012.

"Will and Mark typify everything we are about as a club," director of rugby Dean Richards told the club website.

"They are from our area, have a tremendous work ethic and have got to where they are through determination."

The pair both came through the Falcons academy, with Kendal-born Wilson saying Newcastle now "genuinely" feels like home.

"I feel valued here, I am playing rugby with my best mates and every single person here shares the same determination to climb the Aviva Premiership table," he added.

Having made his first-team debut aged 17, Welch has gone on to make 110 Premiership appearances for the club in the past nine years.

The former Royal Grammar School pupil says loyalty to the club will help them improve as a force in the Premiership.

"It's important for our supporters to know that guys are prepared to stay when they have come through the academy here and made good progress in the first team," Welch said.

"The team will benefit from that consistency of personnel. When you look at the clubs who have done well in the game it is generally the ones who can retain their core group over a number of years who succeed."

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