Kieran Wilkinson to join Newcastle Falcons

Kieran Wilkinson to join Newcastle Falcons

Leicester Tigers fly-half Kieran Wilkinson will join Newcastle Falcons in the summer, with the 24-year-old arriving on a one-year deal.


Wilkinson started for the Tigers in Friday’s home victory over Georgia’s Black Lion, kicking 100% from the tee in the 21-13 triumph.


Capped by England at Under-20s, 18s and 16s levels, the Kirkham Grammar School graduate made his senior breakthrough with Sale Sharks, whose former director of rugby Steve Diamond is delighted to be re-united with him at Newcastle.


“The players who are coming here in the first instance are lads that I know, and who understand how I work,” said Diamond.


“Kieran is worldly-wise for his age, and even though it looks like he hasn’t played much rugby in the last two years you’ve got to remember he’s been learning every day from George Ford at Sale and Handre Pollard at Leicester. He’s been sitting behind two world class tens and he’s coming here with a viewpoint to push on and get himself in our first team.”


Asked what Wilkinson will bring to the squad, the Falcons boss said: “Kieran has that hard-working attitude that I demand, and he’s a good player.


“He has got a strong kicking game, he controls the play and he’s a good kid. I like what he brings to an environment, I’m really pleased to be able to bring him in and it’s also not a bad surname for a fly-half at Newcastle!”


Relishing the prospect of his move to the True North, Wilkinson said: “I’m really excited about joining Newcastle Falcons.


“It’s a great club, some of my heroes when I was a kid played up there and I’ve always had a soft spot for them. It’s a fantastic city as well, so on and off the field I’m really pumped about getting up there in the summer and helping get the club back up to where it should be.”


Philosophical about his season at Leicester Tigers, the fly-half said: “I’ve not played too much rugby because we’ve obviously got Handre Pollard, and as you’d expect from a two-time World Cup winner he’s got the No.10 shirt nailed down.


“That’s obviously frustrating in one sense because as a player you want to be involved in games, but on the same token it’s been great just to learn from him every day in training and see how he goes about everything. I feel like I’ll be a better player for having had that experience, and I’ve now got this great challenge up at Newcastle to get my teeth into.”


Giving supporters an idea of what to expect as he prepares to be re-united with former boss Steve Diamond, Wilkinson added: “I’d like to think I bring an attacking mind-set to the game.


“The players I enjoy watching are the likes of Finn Russell, Marcus Smith and back in the day, Danny Cipriani. I’m not saying I play exactly like those kinds of guys, but I like to be creative and to get the attack firing.


“In terms of working again with Dimes, he signed me as a teenager for Sale Sharks and I’ve got massive respect for the way he goes about things. He’s the perfect man for the job up at Newcastle and I’m really looking forward to playing under him. It’s a new set-up, new players and a massive opportunity, so I’m buzzing to get up there.”


Wilkinson becomes the Falcons’ sixth confirmed signing for next season, following the announcements of Gloucester wing/centre Alex Hearle, Edinburgh prop Luan de Bruin, Sale Sharks flanker Cameron Neild and England Students props Callum and Connor Hancock.




Born: 3/10/99

Position: Fly-half

Height: 1.79m (5ft 11)

Weight: 90kg (14st 2)

Honours: England U20

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