Former Penrith Rugby Club player Mark Wilson will captain Newcastle Falcons during the upcoming Gallagher Premiership season.

England back-rower Wilson, 30, has scored 41 tries in his 224 appearances for the Falcons since coming through the club’s academy, with the Kendal native taking over the role from last season’s co-captains George McGuigan and Michael Young.

“George and Micky did an absolutely outstanding job last season in leading us to promotion after an unbeaten campaign,” said director of rugby Dean Richards.

“They both remain extremely important parts of our leadership group, and can be proud of how they handled the role. Along with our other senior players they will be a great help to Mark as he takes on the captaincy for the new season, and we’re in the privileged position of having a wealth of leadership experience.

On Wilson, the 19-times-capped England international, Richards said: “I know how much this means to Mark, and what a great job he will do.

“He has captained the team many times on an interim basis, he’s a natural leader and someone who commands instant respect through his own actions. He has made the step up into international rugby on the back of sheer hard work over a consistent period of time, and it’s great to have him back.”

Speaking of his delight at taking on the captaincy, Wilson said: “I’m massively honoured to take on the role.

"I’ve been with the Falcons since I was 14, so to get the chance to captain the club is a privilege."