England Under-18s lock Josh Williams has signed senior academy terms with Newcastle Falcons.
The 18-year-old has come through with both Hartlepool Sixth Form College and Billingham RUFC, saying: “I really enjoyed the academy league this year, I am now looking forward to being a member of the senior academy and training full-time with the club.”
Falcons academy director Mark Laycock said: “Josh has done exceptionally well.
“He only really came to us at the back end of his under-17s season, he played really well for Durham County under-17s and to get himself into the England squad in such a short space of time is testament to the work he has put in.”
Laycock added: “Josh played for England Under-18s with fellow Falcons Jamie Blamire and Max Davies, and has benefited from working with the likes of Chris Hyndman who does a great job at Billingham.
“We are looking forward to having him here full-time next season. It is a different challenge for Josh but one I am sure he will grab with both hands.”