Falcons swoop for teenage star Guy
A TOP schoolboy rugby player is preparing to move into the big league after signing with premiership side Newcastle Falcons.
Barnard Castle School sixth former and open-side flanker Guy Pepper is enjoying a double celebration after joining Falcons’ senior academy and securing an offer from Durham University to read a degree in sport and exercise science.
Guy, of Eggleston, is the latest in a string of Barnard Castle School boys given their first professional contracts by the club, including current Falcons forward Freddie Lockwood, Alex and Mathew Tait, Bath hooker Ross Batty and Lee Dickson, who has returned to the school as director of rugby after a successful career playing scrum-half for Northampton Saints and England.
The 18-year-old will begin pre-season training with the first squad in July, having trained with the junior squad during the pandemic.
Guy said: “I would like to play at the highest level possible, for the Falcons and England, and was so pleased and relieved to be offered a contract and a place at Durham University.
“It has been a strange year because of the pandemic with all fixtures cancelled, including a match I was selected to play for England against Scotland.”
Mr Dickson said he was thrilled for Guy.
“He is going to the right club for him at the moment and he will settle in well there under the watchful eye of the likes of England forward Mark Wilson, from whom he will learn a great deal,” he said.
“Guy is an unbelievably hard worker with the right attitude to sport and school life. The first time I watched him I knew he had something special and yet he never shouts about it. Not many people in school even knew he had been training with England as he goes about his business in such a quiet fashion.
“In my opinion he is very gifted with a bright future. He reads the game so well and can kick the ball. He is the perfect link between the backs and the forwards and, for me, could be the next Tom Curry.”
Mr Dickson said it had been a difficult year for everyone and for school rugby, but the sport was continuing to go from strength to strength with seven players from the school in the current Falcons Junior Academy.