There is a definitive era of change taking place in the North East, as Newcastle Falcons are undergoing a complete squad overhaul ahead of the 2023/24 Gallagher Premiership season.
So far, the Falcons have signed 18 new players to their senior team, with 30 confirmed departures signifying this re-shuffle. There are 12 senior signings, six academy graduates and even a new Head Coach in Alex Codling, seeing a great deal of change take shape at Kingston Park.
However, one player who is staying put is England-capped winger Adam Radwan. The Falcons flyer is excited at how the side is shaping up ahead of the new season, and trusts in Codling’s judgement with the plans that have been set out for pre-season.
“Its really exciting, obviously we’ve made a lot of new signings. There’s been a little bit of change in the coaching staff as well. So the Head Coach has come in, Codders, (Alex Codling), he’s got a very clear vision, all the staff and all the players are on board, they’re all keen to push the club in the right direction.
“So it’s really exciting, I think the beauty is, we have got a very long pre-season. So, we’ve got time to put new things in place, and get stuck into.”
“Yeah, it’s been good. He’s (Codling) has laid out his plans, and to be honest, I’m not really that involved with pre-season at the moment. I recently had surgery, but it looks pretty tough. All I’m doing it running, and a lot of speed work and stuff. But yeah, pre-season is always tough, but the boys are all buying into it though. Working hard, and like I said it’s just a really exciting time of year to be honest.”
Newcastle have bolstered their ranks with two signings from the recently-collapsed London Irish. As the Exiles entered administration at the end of the 2022/23 season, it flooded the free agents market with boundless talents, with the Falcons swooping in to secure the signatures of scrum half Hugh O’Sullivan, and midfield playmaker Rory Jennings.
“I think they both add a lot to the team” Radwan said. “Especially, Rory, he gives us that… he’s a very good ball player. Ball playing, he plays 10 or 12, and that’s something, I’d say, not lacked, but it gives us another option if we’ve got another really good ball player on the pitch, it kind of helps us play that brand that we want to play. That exciting brand of rugby.
“Hugh looks great, he looks great in training, so yeah I think both will be really good additions to the team.”
Clocking in an explosive 100m time of 10.72s, Radwan is amongst the fastest players in the Premiership. Following the recent departure of former London Irish star Henry Arundell to the appropriately named Racing 92, Radwan may well stand atop of the Premiership’s fastest talents. The Falcons winger has only gotten faster, thanks to his ultra-light Canterbury boots, the Speed Infinite Elites.
Weighing less than one kilogram, the Speed Infinite Elites will be released on July 6th, and Radwan, along with Ireland winger Mack Hansen and England Sevens star Jodie Ounsley, have had early access to the boots, that are soon to be sent into space!
Find out more about the boots at: Speed Infinite Elite | Canterbury
“I’ve been wearing them for probably the past year, I love them. Obviously they’re Canterbury’s lightest boot yet. Because the majority of my training has been speed work, and I can’t do any rugby stuff because I’m in a cast, so I’ve literally been wearing them the whole time. Doing my speed work, so yeah, they’ve been brilliant so far, and you know hopefully that’s going to help me to get quicker.”
Radwan wore the Canterbury boots at Twickenham last May, as he ran out in the famous black and white stripes of the Barbarians to take on the World XV. A phenomenal 48-42 Baa-Baas victory lived up to the fast-flowing, high-octane expectations, with Radwan remembering the Barbarians experience as one like no other.
“The Barbarians experience was unbelievable, it was something that I’ve always wanted to do. It’s something that I didn’t expect to happen so soon, but it was unbelievable. The game was a weird experience because, usually for a game, the week’s preparation is a little bit different with a Barbarians week.
“I just remember, I felt so unfit during the game I felt horrendous. But I felt that, I looked around and everyone was in the same boat. You’re not unfit, you’re feeling the effects of not the most normal training week.”
Radwan was re-united with his former England Head Coach Eddie Jones, as the Australian took the reigns of the Barbarians for the exhibition match at Twickenham. Jones awarded Radwan his England debut back in the Summer series of July 2021, which he marked with a stunning hat-trick against Canada. Radwan enjoyed his brief re-union with Jones, and would definitely like another run out in black and white.
“Yeah it was brilliant to be fair, he (Eddie Jones) was class. I think he really enjoyed his time there, he really bought into it, and just had a good crack. It was good to see him again, obviously I had a few chats with him around rugby stuff. But yeah, he was brilliant, he was on top form.”
“If the Barbarians ever asked me to play, I would always say yes. We’ll just see what happens, obviously I’ve heard nothing yet, but I’d definitely be keen to have a crack.”
As pre-season continues, Radwan is taking all-important steps in making his return to full fitness. Currently sporting a cast due to an untimely injury, Radwan has watched on with awe as some of the new Falcons arrivals showcased their talents in pre-season.
“I think everyone’s settled in really well. I think the biggest surprise was probably day one we all did fitness testing. So what we all did, we ran a bronco (conditioning test) basically, and Josh Bainbridge absolutely smashed it. The forwards ran in in like four minutes 24 seconds, which is just a ridiculous time. So that’s surprised me. But they’ve all kind of just bought into what we are about at the club, and are all settling in really well.”
When Radwan is back to full fitness, he will set about his plans for the upcoming Premiership season, with the aims of breaking into the England squad. Currently uncapped within the Steve Borthwick era, Radwan is a notable omission from the wider England training squad, that are completing preparations for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
“Yeah it’s something (season goal) that I will try and work out at some point, it will probably be a try involvement or tries scored I’m not too sure yet. It’s something that I haven’t worked out yet, I spoke to the analysts at Newcastle about, and looking at some of my stats from last season, and making sure that they’re all approved from last season. But definitely there will be something.”