Burgeoning prospects Adam Radwan and Simon Uzokwe have pledged their futures to Newcastle Falcons by signing new deals, with highly promising U18s pair Morgan Passman and Will Montgomery stepping up to the senior academy.
Radwan, the wing who turned 20 less than a fortnight ago, burst onto the first-team scene this season with a string of eye-catching tries, starring for the Falcons in their run to the Singha 7s final before dotting down seven tries in his six first team starts.
The Teesside flyer had re-joined the Falcons’ senior academy last season after being released as an 18-year-old, academy manager Mark Laycock saying: “Adam’s story shows that hard work and persistence really does pay off if you apply yourself in the right way.
“He is in his first season with us as a full-time professional, he is getting better week on week and he is a very level-headed character. Hopefully he will get some more exposure over the next couple of months, and it’s great news for us that he has extended his senior academy deal here. He is an exciting talent who very much fits in with our philosophy, and our supporters have certainly taken to him.”
Also welcoming news of a senior academy contract renewal for England Students openside flanker Uzokwe, Laycock said of the 23-year-old: “Simon has a year left on his pharmacy degree at Sunderland University and is working very hard on his transition to the back row, having previously played hooker.
“He is learning a huge amount every day from guys like Nili Latu, and it is a big challenge which he is taking in his stride. Simon is showing a great deal of maturity and has plenty to offer in attack which is his real point of difference, as he showed by scoring two tries on his first team debut at Wasps this season. He is also working incredibly hard to be a more complete player, and it’s great that he will be remaining with us.”
Existing senior academy members Radwan and Uzokwe are joined in next season’s squad by junior academy players Morgan Passman (wing) and Montgomery (back row).
Passman is a member of the Falcons’ AASE scheme at Gosforth Academy, helping them to two successive national finals as well as representing England Under-16s.
“The former Yarm RFC and Egglescliffe School player came through the Durham DPP pathway and made his A-League debut for the Falcons in this season’s heavy victory over Wasps, Laycock saying: “Morgan is a really physical, powerful player with an eye for the try-line, and it’s exciting to see him stepping up to the senior academy."
Back-rower Montgomery follows in the footsteps of current first team star Mark Wilson, having played for Kirkbie Kendal School and Kendal RFC. Making his A-League debut away at Northampton this season, Laycock said: “Will has played sevens for England Under-18s and is a very athletic back-rower.
“Like Morgan he is in the under-18s age bracket this season but he has been playing regular first team senior rugby with Kendal, and it’s fantastic to welcome him into our senior academy.
“Both players have shown great attitudes, they are in and around selection for England Under-18s and are very committed to their rugby. It’s great to have them involved with us, and for that process to be reaching the next step.”
Newcastle Falcons are at home to Russian champions Enisei-STM on Sunday in the European Challenge Cup, aiming for their seventh successive victory in all competitions. The Falcons are top of Pool One after four of their six matches, having won all four.