Former Penrith RUFC player Louie Johnson has been named in the England under-18s squad for an upcoming development camp.
Fly half Johnson, a former Penrith Colts player, is one of six players from Newcastle Falcons academy set-up to earn a call-up to a 44-man group.
He is also one of three Sedbergh School students selected and in June was named first XV captain for the coming season.
The England squad has been divided into north and south sections with 17-year-old Johnson and his Falcons team-mates joining a two-day camp at York later this month.
Johnson, who lives at Clifton, told the Herald: “When I initially got the email from England rugby I thought it was a junk mail about the latest RFU coronavirus guidelines.
“So when I read the email I was immediately shocked and overjoyed. I’m really grateful to be given the opportunity to go away to play and compete with some of the best talents in the country.
“Following from this training camp I believe there will be a few more camps and sessions where they will cut the squad down in preparation for the six nations matches around February/March.
“Hopefully I can put my best foot forward stay in the squad and get some international game time.”
Newcastle academy manager Mark Laycock said : “It’s great news for the lads, and also for the Falcons to have more players selected than any other club.
“That’s a first for us and is testament to the talent and work that the boys have put in.”
He said the two-day September camp was usually followed by further get-togethers in October and November.
“They then typically move into their playing programme, leading into the Six Nations in April, although the schedule is obviously still a little bit up in the air bearing in mind all the disruption for COVID-19,” he added.
“We’ll just have to wait and see what gets confirmed as the season goes on, but for the time being it’s great to have so many lads in the England picture.”
A former Penrith Queen Elizabeth Grammar School student, Louie, who is the son of Gary and Rachel Johnson, now attends Sedbergh School and earlier this year was named first XV captain for the coming season.
Last year he helped Penrith RUFC Colts to one of their best ever seasons which saw them win the under-17 and under-18 county cups and the North East and Cumbria championship.