Club legend Mark Wilson is looking forward to a ‘fresh start’ with Newcastle Falcons, having confirmed his return as part of the first-team coaching staff.
Scoring 42 tries in his 237 games as a Falcon, the former England flanker announced his retirement from playing back in February, but he will now return to Kingston Park ahead of the 2022-23 season.
“Coaching was always in the back of my mind,” he insisted.
“Retirement did come earlier than expected for me, but I knew it was the right time.
“For the last 18 months I’ve definitely explored coaching as an option for myself, and I’m looking forward to getting back involved with the team.”
The full make-up of the coaching team will be confirmed in due course, but Rugby World Cup finalist Wilson has a wealth of positive influences to draw on from his own playing career.
“It’s been a pleasure over the years to work with some great coaches at club and international level,” said the 32-year-old, who won 23 caps for England between 2017 and 2021.
“I think for me, in my new role, the best thing I can do is just be myself and be authentic.
“When I was playing I would always pride myself on being the hardest worker in the team, and I think I can relay this effort and enthusiasm into my coaching and onto the players.
“I feel bad for the way it ended for me as a player, but I love Newcastle Falcons and I still have a lot to offer. I also feel as though I have unfinished business with the club, so I can’t wait to get back into it.
“It’s been a difficult couple of years for Falcons and this feels like a fresh start for us. There will be changes in the way we play, and I’m excited to get going.”
Preparing for his first permanent professional coaching role, Wilson explained: “During my playing days with the Falcons I helped coach the junior academy with Jimmy Ponton and Mark Laycock.
“I was part of the coaching set-up at England Students alongside Darren Fearn when we beat France Universities at Kingston Park earlier this season, which was a great week, and I have been coaching at Ryton RFC, which again has been a great experience.
“I’m lucky enough to know a lot of coaches in the game and have been meeting with them to talk it through. I’ve also been speaking to a lot of coaches across other sports, including basketball and swimming, and I’m excited about taking on the role. I’m just looking forward to getting started.”
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