Three of Newcastle Falcons’ homegrown backs have pledged their futures to the club with the news that Tom Penny, Brett Connon and Dan Marshall have all signed new deals.
Penny, 21, has already made 18 first-team appearances for the Falcons, scoring in October’s Aviva Premiership meeting with Northampton Saints in one of six league outings this term.
The Northumbrian has been involved with the Falcons for over a decade having joined the club at the age of 11, the Alnwick native a regular at Kingston Park as a supporter during his youth.
Director of rugby Dean Richards was delighted to have renewed terms with the versatile back, saying: "We have always stated our intention of promoting top local prospects and Tom very much typifies that. He is a quality player who has already stepped onto the senior stage and we look forward to having him in our plans for a number of years to come."
Fly-half/full-back Connon, 19, represented Ireland Under-20s during this year’s Six Nations, kicking a decisive penalty in their 26-20 away win over England Under-20s at Newcastle’s Kingston Park. Born and raised in Cumbria, the former Carlisle RFC player has been with the Falcons since the age of 15 and made his first-team debut during this season’s Kings of the North competition.
Richards said: "We have known for a while here what a talent Brett is, but he has really made his mark now with Ireland Under-20s. He was instrumental in their victory over England in Newcastle back in February, he had a taste of first-team rugby early this season and we are excited by his long-term potential."
Winger Marshall, 18, is also among the latest wave of players committing their futures to the Falcons, the former Ponteland RFC flyer having graduated through the Falcons’ AASE apprenticeship scheme at Gosforth Academy.
Representing England at the Junior Commonwealth Games in Samoa last year, Marshall also helped the Falcons win their group stage in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series before making three first-team appearances in this season’s European Challenge Cup.
Richards said: "Dan is an attacking threat with pace to burn and great footwork. He is in the best place for his development given the fantastic work of our academy here and it is great that he has joined the long list of bright local prospects who are keen to remain with us."
Season ticket memberships for 2016-17 are on sale now by calling 0871 226 6060 or visiting www.newcastlefalcons.co.uk.