AASE Scheme and England Under 18 Back Row latest player to sign with Senior Academy.
Newcastle Falcons are pleased to confirm that Joe Craggs has become the latest player to agree terms with the club’s Senior Academy for next season.
A member of the Falcons AASE Scheme at Gosforth Academy, 18 year old Craggs has already made a number of appearances for the Falcons Under 18s and A Teams this season, scoring a try on his A Team debut at home to Sale Jets back in September.
The Darlington-born Back Row has also spent time training with his home club, Darlington Mowden Park, over recent weeks and made an impact for his country less than two weeks ago when he touched down for England Under 18s against Scotland at Kingston Park Stadium.
Speaking of his graduation from AASE Scheme to Senior Academy Craggs said: “It’s a natural progression for me. Next season I’m hoping to get on with things as well as I can, make a name for myself and play well whenever I get the chance."
“Playing for the A Team this season was really helpfully and gave me direction towards where I’m going. The first game I played in was quite a big step up so you have to put a lot of focus on yourself and on what the team is doing, and just make sure you’re doing your job right.”
One of a number of players to sign professional terms with the Falcons this year after spending time in the club’s AASE Scheme, Craggs explained:
“The AASE Scheme has been really good and really helpful. For me I think the strength and conditioning side has been most important; the facilities we get to use and the advice we get have helped me the most. But also it encourages you to be more strict with yourself with meal preparation and things like that.”
Craggs made his England Under 18s début less than two weeks ago at Kingston Park, scoring a try in front of friends and family from home as his side beat Scotland Under 18s 39-27.
“It was pretty daunting and was a really big thing, but I don’t think I fully realised until after the game when I thought about how many people were there watching me."
“It was a really good experience though, especially being able to do it at Kingston Park and get nearly the full 80 minutes.”
Discussing his latest signing, Newcastle Falcons Academy Manager Mark Laycock said: “Joe is a talented back row who has featured in all of our Under 18s Academy game this season and done really well. As his try for England shows he’s also on a bit of form at the moment too."
“Joe is a good example of how the AASE Scheme can really help players push on. He was a very skilful player when he joined the scheme but the physical development and maturity that have come through living away from home and training like a professional have pushed him forward so much, and the value added by the AASE scheme has been massive.”