Newcastle Falcons: Zach Kibirige confident for new campaign

England under-20s winger Zach Kibirige is optimistic for both his and Newcastle Falcons' prospects this forthcoming season.

Newcastle narrowly avoided relegation last term, pipping Worcester to Premiership survival, despite picking up just three wins in 22 games.

This summer has seen 10 new arrivals and a new 3G pitch installed.

"We've been working hard through the conditioning part of pre-season," Kibirige told BBC Newcastle.

"Everyone's looking in really good shape, the mood in the camp is really positive that we're going to kick on."

Kibirige made his Premiership bow in March, as Falcons lost at Gloucester, but his debut ended early as he fractured a tibia and damaged ankle ligaments.

The injuries also finished his hopes of featuring in England's successful under-20 World Cup team this summer.

The 19-year-old, who turns 20 in October, underwent surgery to put a plate and screws in the ankle as well as stitch the ligaments back together and is now in rehabilitation with a view to returning to bolster the Falcons backline in 2014-15.

"There are many people who have had injuries like this before who have come back as even better players and that's what I'm aiming to do," he added.

"I know other people have done it before and I know that I can do it this time and come back and keep growing as a player.

"[My aims are] just to kick on from last year - try and get as many opportunities as I can and try to impress and hold down a place in the team."