Sale Sharks have announced England back-row Mark Wilson will join on loan from Newcastle Falcons for the 2019/20 season. The 29-year-old has been a regular for the Red Rose recently, starting nine of the last 10 Test matches, and is highly likely to be part of Eddie Jones’ squad for this autumn’s Rugby World Cup.
Once Wilson’s international commitments are concluded, he will link up with Sale for the remainder of the season having decided he needed to continue playing in the Gallagher Premiership in order to keep his England spot intact. Wilson was part of the Newcastle squad that was relegated from English rugby’s top-flight last season but he continues to see his long-term future with the Falcons.
Sale coach Steve Diamond says he is delighted to have picked up Wilson for the upcoming campaign and is excited to work with him upon his return from the World Cup. Diamond said: “We are delighted to secure Mark’s services. It’s going to be a big year for us at Sale and it’s not often a current England international becomes available, so we jumped at the chance to loan him from the Falcons.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle’s director of rugby Dean Richards says he understands why Wilson has gone out on loan and hopes he will return to a club who have secured an immediate return top the Premiership. 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 and, 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.”