The Newcastle Falcons rugby team signs Newcastle University rugby star Will Witty

Newcastle, UK, 28-7-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — Newcastle University rugby star Will Witty has been signed by the North-East’s leading rugby team.

The Newcastle Falcons flew in for the 19-year-old rising star who has already represented England Under-18s, England Students and Yorkshire.

Will, an Agri-Business student, will play second-row in the team, based at Kingston Park. He is currently in training as the squad gets ready for the new season which begins in September.

He has been playing the game since he was just six-years-old. “I was over the moon when the Falcons signed me,” said Will, who is from Malton, North Yorkshire. “Playing professional rugby is what I have always wanted to do. The team has been really welcoming and they’re a great bunch of lads. I can’t wait to start the new season with them.”

Academy Manager at the Falcons, Mark Laycock said: “When we first saw Will playing for Yorkshire Under-18s we knew he had potential and then when he came to Newcastle University we were able to give him an opportunity in our A Team, which he took. He put in a string of solid performances for the A Team last year and now that he is full-time we will undoubtedly see his rate of progress increase.

“We are all extremely grateful at how helpful and supportive the University have been in enabling Will to have a chance at realising his dreams.”

Tom Wilkinson, Director of Rugby at Newcastle University said: “Will is an incredibly talented rugby player who works his absolute hardest during every game. He has been brilliant for Team Newcastle and I‘m delighted the Falcons have recognised just how good he is and given him this opportunity.”

Will also praised the support he received in his first year as part of Team Newcastle. “The programme last year really helped my game,” he said. “It was professional and it was really helpful to be able to play rugby to a high standard while I was studying.”

Will was one of two students selected for an adidas scholarship last year. It gave him expert coaching advice and mentoring from Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll as well as training and competition travel costs, kit and technical support.

Key Facts:

  • Newcastle University is a Russell Group University
  • We rank in the top 20 of UK universities in The Sunday Times 2013 University Guide and in the 2015 Complete University Guide
  • Amongst our peers Newcastle is:
    • 5th in the UK for graduates into jobs (HESA 2011-12)
    • 10th in the UK for student satisfaction
    • Ranked 8th in the UK for Medical research power
    • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) top 20 strategic partner
  • 95% of our students are in a job or further training within six months of graduating
  • We have a world-class reputation for research excellence and are spearheading three major societal challenges that have a significant impact on global society. These themes are: Ageing, Sustainability, and Social Renewal
  • Newcastle University is the first UK university to establish a fully owned international branch campus for medicine at its NUMed Campus in Malaysiawhich opened in 2011
  • We get a 92% satisfaction rating from our international students (ISB 2013)

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