Sale Sharks are delighted to announce the signing of Mark Wilson from Newcastle Falcons for the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership Season.
Newcastle Falcons have agreed to release Mark to the Sale Sharks after the completion of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the Cumbrian born flanker will return to his first professional club for the start of the 20/21 Season.
Mark joined Newcastle in the summer of 2010 and has been a stalwart of the Falcons pack ever since. The 29-year-old flanker has made 224 appearances for his boyhood club, notably winning the Falcons Player of the Year award in 2014, which, after another impressive season the following year was backed up with a call up for England vs The Barbarians in the summer of 2015.
Wilson maintained his impressive form from then on, topping the Opta tackling statistics in 2015/16 and 2016/17, cementing his status as one of the best back-row forwards in the division with a nomination for the premierships prestigious Player of the Year Award. The Flanker’s consistently impressive performances on the field eventually lead to a long-awaited test debut in the 2-0 series win over Argentina back in 2017. Mark has since gone on to win 13 caps and will likely head to the Rugby World Cup with England later on this summer.
Mark will start training at Carrington after the completion of the World Cup in November and will help bolster the Sharks already impressive back row options as the club continue in its pursuit of a Top 4 finish in the Gallagher Premiership.
Steve Diamond, Sale Sharks Director of Rugby was especially pleased to be able to come to an agreement with Newcastle and secure the services of Mark for part of next season. He said:
“We are delighted to secure Mark’s services for the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership season.” It’s going to be a big year for us at Sale and it’s not often a current England International becomes available, so we jumped at the chance to loan him from the Falcons when the opportunity arose.
We wish Mark good luck in his pre-season training with England and look forward to welcoming him at Carrington after the completion of the World Cup. – I would also like wish Newcastle all the best with their season and look forward to hopefully having them back alongside us representing the North in the Gallagher Premiership in the near future.”
Dean Richards, Newcastle Falcons Director of Rugby added:
“This has not been an easy decision for Mark because he is very loyal to the Falcons, but at the same time we understand he has to think about his England selection.
Playing Premiership rugby gives him the best possible chance of maintaining his place in the national squad, and as disappointing as it is to lose a player of his ability for a season we fully understand Mark’s reasoning in reaching this decision.
I don’t think anyone can question Mark’s loyalty after making 224 appearances for the club and the manner in which he has conducted himself throughout that time, and we wish him and Sale Sharks all the best for the coming season.”
Commenting on the announcement Mark said:
“Firstly I would like to thank Dean Richards and Semore Kurdi for allowing me to join Sale Sharks for the 19/20 season. Their support has been fantastic and I am very grateful for the opportunity. I wish everyone at the club the very best for the coming season.
I would also like to thank Steve Diamond for giving me the opportunity to come to Sale on loan. I am very excited about joining up with the team for the coming season. It’s clear to see that the club is ambitious, with an outstanding group of players, and I’m really looking forward to working alongside them, and giving everything I can to help the club achieve its goals.
For the time being I will be fully focused on the preparations for the World Cup and giving absolutely everything to help put the team in the best place possible for the tournament.”