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Young Gun: Ed Coulson – Newcastle full-back

Ed CoulsonDeciding to leave Bath was not an easy decision for Ed Coulson but he realised it was best for him and he is now looking to push on with Newcastle.

The 19-year-old came through the Bath academy able to play at either full-back of fly-half but, with England stars Anthony Watson and George Ford ahead of him in those positions, and given that both are only two and three years older respectively, a move seemed necessary to push on.

After talks with Dean Richards, he jumped at the opportunity to link up with the Falcons and he is hoping a strong pre-season will put him in good stead to have a crack at the Premiership.

“It was a tough decision to leave Bath but, being one of the best sides in Europe, they have a very good squad and, to make it harder for me, Anthony and George are both really young,” he told The Rugby Paper.

“After speaking to Dean, it felt like Newcastle were going to be a good fit for me and I can’t wait to work on my rugby with guys like Dave Walder.

“Newcastle is a very nice place and everyone has been great with me so it’s going very well so far. I’ll probably go on loan at Darlington in National League One at the start of the season which will be great for me to get some game time.

“The Premiership starts only in October so I’m hoping I get match fit before then to give me the best possible shot with the Falcons once the season starts.

“I played at fly-half in the past but I moved to Newcastle as a full-back and I think that’s where I’ll be looking to push on from now on.”

Coulson was involved with London Irish growing up but going to Sherborne School in Dorset the move to close neighbours Bath made sense and he joined at the start of sixth form.

He went on to play for their academy as well as the A-League and the Premiership Sevens but he finished last season in South Africa playing for the Western Province.

Having gained valuable experience abroad, he is now back in England and targeting the World Rugby Championship in Manchester next season with England U20s.

He said: “I’m not too sure how the move came about but Bath suggested it and although I wasn’t too keen to leave at first I thought it was an experience I couldn’t turn down really.

“I went in January for their pre-season which was very tough with three sessions a day starting at 6am. It was pretty full on.

“Looking back I’m glad I went. They chuck the ball around a lot playing on dry and fast tracks. It was a lot of fun.

“I was supposed to be out there for the Junior Currie Cup season but Newcastle wanted me back for pre-season and so did England U20s head coach Jon Callard.

“He said that if I wanted to be in contention for the U20s next season I’d have to be back for pre-season. Aaron Morris and Piers O’Connor will be too old so the No.15 shirt will be up for grabs.

“The U20s are a big target of mine this season especially with the World Cup in Manchester.

“It would be great to play for England in England in front of my family and friends.”

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