Newcastle Falcons’ Tom Penny will remain part of the club’s senior academy set up for the next two seasons, having agreed a new deal at Kingston Park.
Alnwick born Penny first made the step into the senior academy at the club at the start of the 2013/14 season and gained regular first team rugby with National League 1 club Blaydon.
He made his first team debut for the Falcons that season in the LV= Cup from the bench in the matches against London Irish and Saracens, before making his starting debut this season at Kingston Park, against Bucharesti Wolves.
Scoring two tries in the 43-19 win, the 20 year old has gone on to take a further two first team starts in the European Rugby Challenge Cup and five bench appearances including two in the Aviva Premiership.
Now, with a further two years secured, the centre is hopeful of developing further.
"I’m delighted to sign again. It has been a pretty good year, not just for me but for club at large as well so it’s going to be good to be involved for the next couple of years."
"I’ve just tried to take my opportunities when they came, we have had a few injury problems and that was one of the reasons I got called up, but I’ve just tried to do the best I could and that has earned a new contract."
Having made further breakthroughs and backing up his first appearances with first starts this campaign, Penny has credited the closeness between the senior academy as a group and their senior squad counterparts as playing a key role in his success.
"It has helped being much more involved, not only in the matches but in training as well. There are a lot of good players around and they pass on their knowledge and experience, which is one of the best things that has happened to me."
"The senior academy are a very close and we try to push the first team boys so we all get the best out of each other and I hope that can see me take the chances that come my way and earn some more appearances."
Academy Manager Mark Laycock said: "I’m very pleased that we will have Tom with us for at least the next two years. He has made real progress this year and we have seen just how well he has developed with his starts this year."
"We are going to see more and more of him in a Falcons shirt as he continues in that form and I’m really looking forward to that."