Tane Tu’ipulotu admits it is great to be back at Kingston Park following a year’s stint with Japanese outfit Yamaha Jubilo.
Speaking to the Falcons official website for the first time since re-signing for the club on a two-year deal, the Tongan centre, 31, believes an exciting future lies ahead for the northeasterners.
“I have been very impressed with the set-up here and a lot has changed since I was last here,” said Tu’ipulotu, who joined up with his new teammates for pre-season training last week.
“We now have a state-of-the-art medical suite, the ground is in superb condition, we have more specialist coaches here and the set-up in the gym is world-class,” he added.
And with the imminent arrival of incoming director of rugby Dean Richards coupled with the investment of ambitious owner Semore Kurdi, it is all shaping up nicely according to the former Junior All Black.
He said: “Dean’s a world class coach and I am looking forward to playing under him. Semore has brought the club forward significantly and he is the main reason why I have decided to return.
“You only need to look at the current set-up and it is top notch – now it is up to the players to perform. There is only so much that people can do behind the scenes and it is up to the 23 men to perform each weekend.”
Jetting into the familiar surroundings of Newcastle with his wife and two kids, Tu’ipulotu reveals he is grateful for the messages of support from Falcons fans.
Tu’ipulotu said: “I have spoken to some of the fans already and they all seem to be happy to have me back.
“The family are all here with me and they could not wait to move to Newcastle – they are all enjoying their time here so far.”
Best remembered for his last gasp touchdown at Harlequins in the LV= Cup semi-final in 2011, Tu’ipulotu is determined to rekindle those moments again.
“I have had so many great moments here at the club and the memories that I have shared with this bunch of boys have been great,” said Tu’ipulotu.
“I have cherished a lot of memories here at Kingston Park and I just hope that we can create some more in the future,” he added.
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