Flanker John Hardie has committed his future to Newcastle Falcons by signing a new two-year deal with the Kingston Park club.
The 16-times-capped Scotland flanker joined the Falcons at the end of October, the former Edinburgh man having spent the summer training with French giants Clermont.
Starting for the Falcons in their Gallagher Premiership victories over Harlequins and Bath during November, Hardie's tough tackling and breakdown expertise have quickly made him an important ingredient of the club’s forward pack.
“I’m incredibly grateful to Newcastle Falcons for giving me the opportunity of playing here in the first place,” said the 30-year-old, who broke through with Southland and the Highlanders in his native New Zealand before moving to Scotland in 2015.
“I’m enjoying playing in the Gallagher Premiership, it’s a new competition to me and something I’d always wanted to have a crack at.
“The lads have been great in terms of how they’ve welcomed me to the club, the set-up here is enjoyable and despite our current league position I’ve got absolute full confidence that we have the quality and mind-set to pull ourselves up the league.”
Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we have been able to agree a longer-term deal with John, having initially brought him here for the rest of the current season.
“He is a proven performer at the very highest level, he offers a lot to the side and his work around the breakdown and tackle area is absolutely top class.
“It’s great news that John sees his future with the Falcons, and it says a lot about the environment here that players of his quality are willing to sign.”
Newcastle Falcons’ next home game is on Friday January 18 when Toulon are the visitors in the Heineken Champions Cup. Tickets for the 7.45pm kick-off at Kingston Park Stadium can be bought by clicking here.