Newcastle Falcons have completed the signing of England Under-20s second-row Dominic Barrow from Leeds Carnegie on a two-year deal.
Barrow, 20, who was part of the England set-up that won the IRB Junior World Championship this summer, has joined up with his new teammates at Kingston Park ahead of the 2013-14 Aviva Premiership campaign.
Standing at 6’8” tall and weighing in at just over 18 stone, the Sheffield-born hit-man adds athleticism and go-forward to the pack.
Barrow made his Leeds senior debut against Scarlets in the Amlin Challenge Cup during the 2010-11 campaign and went on to make 13 appearances that season. He played the same number of games last season, helping Carnegie to the RFU Championship play-offs where they were defeated by eventual league champions Newcastle.
A product of the Leeds Academy, Barrow has represented his country at Under-16s, 18s and 20s level to underline his credentials as one of the hottest prospects in the game.
After skippering England Under-16s, Barrow burst onto the international scene with the Under-18s fold and scored the opening try in a 30-28 victory over Australia at Heywood Road.
He toured South Africa with the Under-18 squad in 2009 where he enjoyed outings against Boland and Western Province, having previously represented Yorkshire Under-15s and Under-16s.
“I have really enjoyed my first couple of days at the club, and the lads have been very welcoming,” said Barrow.
“I’m very much looking forward to the challenge of playing for Newcastle Falcons, a club that has rich potential.
“One of the main attractions of coming up to Newcastle is the fact that there is a world-class coaching set-up in place which can only help my development as a player,” he added.
Barrow teams up with talented prop Scott Wilson on Tyneside, with the pair having figured prominently in England Under-20s road to success last month.
The South Yorkshireman reveals winning the Junior World Championship is the highlight of his career so far, saying: “It was an amazing experience, and it is an achievement that will live long in the memory.
“There was a great atmosphere in the camp with no egos in the squad, and you could say that there are similarities with the squad here at Newcastle.
“The way in which we won the tournament was incredible – beating New Zealand in the semi-finals and setting a new record points total against the U.S.A was a fantastic achievement.”
Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “Dominic is a fantastic signing for the club, and he has an exciting future ahead of him.
“He has a rich pedigree when it comes to representing England at age group level, and I am sure he will go from strength to strength here in the North East.”
The Knowledge Spiral will sponsor Barrow this season, with managing director Alan Lowden adding: "It is with great pleasure that TKS welcomes Dominic to Kingston Park. We are in a period of growth as a business and supporting one of England's rising stars as part of this is both a privilege and a great fit for us."