Tongan World Cup winger Suka Hufanga has joined up with his new teammates at Kingston Park after completing his move to Newcastle Falcons.
The 29-year-old who scored the winning try for Tonga in their shock victory over France at the World Cup was put through his paces at training on Thursday.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Hufanga said: “The club have made me very welcome and I’m very happy to be here.
“The players are friendly and very welcoming – it is like I have been at the club for a long time.”
Hufanga boasts vast international experience having been capped 25 times by his native Tonga and believes his switch to Tyneside is an exciting challenge.
“It is going to be a new experience for me living in Newcastle but I am really looking forward to the challenge of playing in the Aviva Premiership,” said the 5ft 11” flyer who plied his trade for French Top 14 side Brive for five seasons.
Following this weekend’s Amlin Challenge Cup clash at Italian champions Petrarca Padova, the Falcons return to the domestic scene with a trip to table-toppers Harlequins.
Hufanga insists he is itching to pull on the Falcons jersey in a fortnight’s time despite a five week break following the World Cup.
He said: “I have had a lengthy layoff and today [Thursday] was my first day in full training with the Falcons so I will certainly have to work on my fitness. I am just happy to be here and hopefully I will play very soon.”
A trio of new faces have jetted into town within the last two-weeks as the club bolsters its armoury ahead of a series of crucial Premiership showdowns.
South African Adriaan Fondse, Samoan international Taiasina Tu’ifua and Tongan World Cup winger Suka Hufanga have all walked through the doors of Kingston Park in recent days.
And their arrival is a timely boost for the northeasterners who have a date with Quins at the Stoop next week before locking horns with Gloucester at Kingston Park on Friday 2 December (kick-off 8pm).
Head coach Alan Tait is delighted with his captures, adding: “We have done everything we can off the field and the players appreciate that but I think now is the time to bring in some real quality players.
“Semore Kurdi has given me the opportunity to bring these players in and I believe these lads will bring something special to the squad. I can’t wait to see them in action.”
Fans got their first glimpse of Hufanga on the club’s facebook page following his first day in training. You can view Hufanga and Tu’ifua photo galleries by clicking here.
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