Newcastle Falcons academy products Alex Tait and Tom Catterick have each signed two-year-deals the club are delighted to announce.
Former Barnard Castle pupils Tait, 25, and Catterick, 22, both came through the ranks at Kingston Park to establish themselves in the senior set-up.
Tait, who plies his trade at full-back, has racked up 110 appearances for the North East club with his 100th outing coming away to Jersey in November 2012 during the Falcons’ RFU Championship winning campaign. He marked the occasion with a second-half try in a 24-3 victory over the Channel Islanders.
Scoring a hat-trick on his Falcons first team debut against Cetransa El Salvador in the Amlin Challenge Cup during the 2007-08 season, Tait helped England Under-20s lift the Grand Slam in the Six Nations that year, as well as to the final of the IRB Under-20s Rugby World Cup.
Tait, who can also play on the wing, made 17 appearances last term, crossing the whitewash on four occasions as the Falcons secured promotion back to the Aviva Premiership.
“The club is really going places, and I am excited at the prospect of what can be achieved at Kingston Park,” said the Shotley Bridge-born flyer.
“There is a fantastic coaching set-up in place, and it has been a tough pre-season so far with training specific to each player’s needs.
“I cannot wait to get started in the Aviva Premiership,” he added.
Meanwhile, talented full-back Catterick, who is also adept on the wing has re-signed on the back of a solid season in Falcons black.
The ex-England Under-16s, 18s, 19s and 20s player touched down seven times in 21 appearances last time out to underline his attacking credentials.
Like Tait, Catterick made his Falcons senior bow in Europe against Albi in the 2009-10 season, and featured prominently towards the end of the 2011-12 campaign, before getting his chance to shine in the RFU Championship the following year.
Catterick said: “I got a fair bit of game time under my belt last season, and that really helped my confidence.
“It’s a huge step up to the Premiership, and my main focus now is to get my head down and work hard, and see where I go from there.”
Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “Alex and Tom performed well for us last season and they thoroughly deserve their contract extensions.
“There is a lot of competition for places at present ahead of the new season, and I am sure they will relish the challenge.”