Lethal finisher Rikki Sheriffe is delighted to be on Tyneside after switching codes to join the ambitious Newcastle Falcons.The 26-year-old, former Bradford Bulls wing ace, has penned a two-year deal at Kingston Park starting in the summer. Sheriffe who notched up 33 tries for the Bulls, joined up with his new teammates at the club today as he begins to acclimatise to the XV man game. He will now continue to train with the Falcons as he gears up for next season.
And the Yorkshireman admits he has received some words of wisdom from former dual code rugby great Henry Paul prior to his move to the north-east.
“This is a great chance for me. When I spoke to Henry he told me to go for it and grab the opportunity with both hands,” Sheriffe told media manager Stewart McCullough.
“Henry said that Newcastle is a good club and would be a good move for me,” he added.
Now the Bradford born flyer has ambitions to establish himself as a first-team regular next season, saying: “I came to watch the game against Saracens at Kingston Park earlier in the season and I could see a fantastic crowd who really got behind their team. I can’t wait to be involved in this set-up and be a part of Newcastle’s success.
“The players and the people in Newcastle that I’ve met love this club and speaking to the boys it seems like a great place for me and my family to move to. I actually had my stag do in Newcastle a few weeks ago and it was certainly a good night.”
Sheriffe featured at the recent Dubai sevens starring for the Templars in the Invitational competition as he strives to get up to full speed with the union game.
He said: “I couldn’t believe the amount of support the game received out there in the Middle East and it really gave me a buzz. I scored a few tries which is always nice.
“Union is a totally different sport for sure. I played a couple of A League games for the Falcons earlier in the season and it’s clear to see there is a different mentality in the game.”
Following in the footsteps of England international Chris Ashton and former Bulls player Shontayne Hape to the union game, Sheriffe has a bright future according to Falcons boss Alan Tait.
“Rikki is a proven finisher and he showed that at the highest level in rugby league,” said Tait.
“Of course it will take him a while to adjust to the game but he’s a natural born try scorer and I’m confident he’ll be a success at the club,” he added.