Newcastle Falcons have begun the process of securing their key men on long-term contracts with the news that hooker George McGuigan has signed a new two-year deal at Kingston Park.
One of their most impressive performers in a difficult season, the Ireland Under-20s cap has added an abrasive edge to the Falcons’ front-row.
The 20-year-old is the first graduate of the club’s apprenticeship scheme to make it through to the senior side, stating: “I am really happy with how my season has gone so far, and I want to continue to improve as a player.
“Newcastle Falcons is a great club, and one that has a bright future under Dean Richards. He and John Wells are great coaches, and they have really helped my development this year.
“They have shown a lot of faith in me and given me some game time, which I am extremely grateful for.”
The former Darlington RFC player, who was born and raised in North Yorkshire, added: “My aim is to keep churning out solid performances, and hopefully I can hold down a more regular place in the first team.
“I am enjoying my rugby at present, and I am settled in Newcastle. It is a great city with great people, and I love everything about the area.”
McGuigan’s international breakthrough came via the Irish Exiles, a squad designed to harness the best Irish-qualified talent from outside the Emerald Isle.
Joe Young (Royal Grammar School) and Lorcan O’Donnell (Gosforth Academy) last week played for the Irish Exiles Under-18s against the English Lambs, a side drawn from English independent schools.
Irish-qualified players born in 1996, 97 or 98 are invited to register their interest in the Exiles set-up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting www.irishexiles.co.uk