Newcastle take another look at Filton Academy skipper Sam Hanks
FORMER Filton Academy captain Sam Hanks has caught the eye of Premiership club Newcastle Falcons.
The 18-year-old centre was spotted by Falcons academy manager Mark Laycock, while playing at the Sedbergh Tens competition, which Filton won. Hanks has been invited to join the Falcons on a trial basis, and heads north on July 16 to begin pre-season training with the club.
Laycock said: "We've had our eye on Sam for a while now. We invited him up to play against Leeds in April and he did well.
"But the conditions in that game weren't great, so we've invited him back up to monitor him more closely. We believe Sam has a bright future in the game. His basic skills are very good and we think he has enormous potential."
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Whitehall have made sweeping changes throughout the club ahead of the new season.
Dean Weaver, pictured, has been appointed first-team captain, with Ryan England stepping into the vice-captain's role. Weaver replaces Matt Stone, who led the team for three seasons.
Iain Pring has been replaced as chairman by Bill Davies, while Duncan Weaver becomes secretary, in place of Diane Cann.
Steve Price takes up the director of rugby post vacated by Wayne Millard, who shifts across to become first-team manager.
The Speedwell-based club have also appointed a new coaching team following the resignation of Pete Polledri and Dave Pike, with Jonathan Coles and Craig Trump, who are both products of the club's junior section, taking up the reins.
Outgoing coach Polledri said; "We've done three seasons at the club, and we felt the time was right to move on. We'd like to wish Whitehall every success in the future."
Keynsham host the West Country Sevens this weekend at their Crown Field ground.
Storm 7, the West Country Cavaliers and the Godfathers are among the challengers to tournament favourites, the British Army.
England and Wales enter strong line-ups in the ladies event, with Wooden Spoon looking to retain their title.
Bristol Combination sides Avonmouth, Barton Hill, Keynsham and Old Redcliffians, are among the entrants for the PA Trust event on Sunday, and there will also be a junior tournament for under-14s and under-15s.
The event starts tonight, with a senior touch rugby event.