Sale Sharks have announced the signing on loan of Mark Wilson from Newcastle Falcons for the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership season.
Falcons have agreed to release the England back row to the Sharks after the completion of the 2019 World Cup. The Cumbrian-born flanker will then return to his first professional club for the start of the 2020/21 season.
Wilson 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 and was first called up by England to face the Barbarians in 2015.
Wilson’s consistently impressive performances eventually lead to a long-awaited Test debut in Argentina in 2017. He has since gone on to win 13 caps and will likely head to the World Cup with England in September.
Wilson will start training at Carrington after the completion of the finals in November and will bolster the Sharks already impressive back row options as the club continues its pursuit of a top-four finish in the Gallagher Premiership.
— Sale Sharks? (@SaleSharksRugby) July 2, 2019
Sale boss Steve Diamond said: “We’re delighted to secure Mark’s services for the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership season. It’s going to be a big year for us 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 to 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.”
Newcastle boss Dean Richards 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. 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.
Newcastle Falcons and England back-rower Mark Wilson will spend the 2019-20 season on loan at Sale Sharks. The club wishes Mark and Sale Sharks all the best for the season ahead, and looks forward to his return https://t.co/2tzGjQuxhT pic.twitter.com/IomJLkPGoF
— Newcastle Falcons (@FalconsRugby) July 2, 2019
“Even in his absence we believe we have a squad capable of earning promotion back into the Premiership at the first attempt, without taking anything for granted, after which point we would look forward to welcoming Mark back into the fold.
“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. We wish him and Sale all the best for the coming season.”
WATCH: Part one of the two-part RugbyPass documentary on the many adventures that fans can expect to experience in Japan at this year’s World Cup
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now