Newcastle Falcons skipper Will Welch and second-row Sean Tomes have signed new contracts at Kingston Park, the club are delighted to announce.
Newcastle-born Welch, 23, has penned a two-year-deal, while fellow northeasterner Tomes, 28, has signed a one-year contract.
The news comes hot on the heels of the Falcons’ 72-17 quarter-final triumph over Nottingham on Friday, and is a major boost for the club as it gears up for the end of season play-offs.
Former RGS pupil Welch, who was named Falcons captain at the start of this campaign by new boss Dean Richards, is enthused by the club’s long-term ambitions.
Speaking to Falcons TV, Welch said: “It is a really exciting time for the club and rugby in the region as a whole.
“Newcastle Falcons is an ambitious rugby club, and with a top-class coaching set-up in place the club is in a healthy state.”
Now the openside flanker has his sights firmly set on achieving promotion with the Falcons, a club he supported as a boy.
“The club can go very far, and as Dean [Richards] keeps instilling into us, we want to continue to win every game with the main goal being to get back up to the Premiership,” added Welch.
Meanwhile, Tomes, who is enjoying his second stint on Tyneside, is pleased to have signed on the dotted line for another year.
The Gateshead-born lock made his Premiership debut for the Falcons as a replacement against London Wasps during the 2007-08 season.
And after spells at Newport Gwent Dragons, Exeter Chiefs and Bedford Blues, Tomes moved back to his native North East last summer.
Tomes said: “I am really grateful to Dean [Richards] for giving me the opportunity to join the club last year, and I wanted to repay that faith by working hard both in training and in matches.
“As a North East lad I am proud to be staying on with Newcastle, and I am very much looking forward to the future.”
Falcons director of rugby Richards said: “I am thrilled that Will and Sean have signed new deals, and it is crucial that we keep hold of our good local talent as highlighted by those academy lads who signed professional contracts last week.”