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Newcastle sign 23-year-old identical twin props for next season

By Liam Heagney
Callum and Connor Hancock (Photos via Newcastle Falcons)

Gallagher Premiership basement dwellers Newcastle have offered one-year deals to 23-year-old identical twin props for next season. Tighthead Callum and loosehead Connor Hancock are currently involved with England Students, who take on France Universities this Saturday in Coventry, but they will soon be part of the Steve Diamond full-time set-up at the Falcons.


A statement read: “Newcastle Falcons have signed England Students props Callum and Connor Hancock, with the identical twins joining the senior academy squad on one-year deals.

“Tighthead Callum and loosehead Connor are well known to the Falcons after spending much of last summer’s pre-season training with the squad, with the pair also drafted into training at points during the current campaign.

Video Spacer

Nemani Nadolo on his peak and once being considered “too big”

Former Fijian winger Nemani Nadolo chats to Liam Heagney about when he reached his peak and how he was actually at one stage considered too big to play rugby.

Video Spacer

Nemani Nadolo on his peak and once being considered “too big”

Former Fijian winger Nemani Nadolo chats to Liam Heagney about when he reached his peak and how he was actually at one stage considered too big to play rugby.

“Finishing their studies at Leeds Beckett University this summer, whom they have represented in BUCS Super Rugby, the twins will join Falcons hooker Ollie Fletcher and scrum-half Max Pepper in playing for England Students this Saturday when they face France Universities in Coventry. The 23-year-old brothers stand at 182cm (6 foot) and weigh 120kg (18 stone 13).

“The twins were raised in Sheffield and played their junior rugby for Dinnington RFC before moving to Bishop Burton College, being involved with Yorkshire’s academy before moving on to university at Leeds Beckett.”

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“We’re both really excited to be signing for Newcastle Falcons,” said Callum, who is completing a masters in marketing. “It’s been a longer-than-expected route into professional rugby but Newcastle have been great with us throughout, and it’s fantastic that they are open to bringing in players from all avenues.

“It’s easy to feel as if you have missed the boat when you are not involved full-time with academies, but Newcastle cast the net far and wide. We are just excited to get cracking and be a proper part of things.”


Finishing his sports coaching studies, Connor added: “We were invited in for pre-season with the Falcons last summer, and really enjoyed it. It was hard work as you’d expect but we got a huge amount from it, and it massively benefited our game when we went back to Leeds Beckett and played in BUCS Super Rugby.

“I feel like we brought a new level of professionalism to our uni rugby with all the things we have learned at Newcastle, and we got a record 102 scrum penalties awarded in our favour over the season. Having both of us called up by England Students was a huge honour on the back of that, and then getting signed up by the Falcons is just incredible on top of everything else.”

Newcastle Falcons head of academy James Ponton said: “It’s great having Callum and Connor on board. They did most of pre-season with us last summer, they got very involved from a team point of view and the lads here really took to them.

“They are a couple of characters, they are very hard working and they got stuck into everything we did. We always knew they had another year at university but we were keen to get them back in at the end of that, and let’s see where we can take them.


“They are both big lads. They have got a lot of work ahead of them to make that step up into being a fully professional player, but they have got the attitude and the ability to do it. They are part of a good propping group with some of the slightly younger lads we have in the senior academy as well, and they will all drive each other on.

“There are loads of different routes into professional rugby, and we as a club will never close the door on people. Some guys develop later on and won’t be in that initial senior academy squad at 18, and the front row guys, in particular, can take their time to come through. It just takes a bit of time to mature, to grow into a man’s body and get that strength, and the twins are a good example of that.”



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