In the week in which he hopes to play his 200th game for the club, Alex Tait has pledged his future to Newcastle Falcons by signing a new long-term contract.
The versatile back, who turned 29 last month, will reach his double century of competitive appearances if he features in Friday’s Aviva Premiership visit of Gloucester.
The Co. Durham native came through the Falcons’ academy after playing his junior rugby with Consett RFC and Barnard Castle School, scoring a hat-trick on his senior debut against Spanish side Cetransa El Salvador in November, 2007.
Going on to make 199 appearances over the subsequent decade, Tait has spoken of his delight at agreeing his new deal.
He said: “In terms of my own contract extension the first person I wanted to speak to was our director of rugby Dean Richards, and I wanted to get it done early.
“I just wanted to know if Newcastle were keen to keep me, because I am happy here and didn’t want to go anywhere else. I enjoy it up here, I love the club and I feel like we’re making progress. Thankfully, Dean said he would be delighted if I stayed, and it was all worked out very quickly from there.
“I just think we have a good core of lads who are hungry to succeed, to win something, and this is the place I want to be. I’m very happy outside the club, too, and I’ve always wanted to win trophies with the Falcons. I like the squad we’re building and it will be great to be around here for the next three years.”
Glad to have agreed terms with the supremely consistent performer, Richards said: “Alex has done incredibly well for this club, and over the last four or five years has cemented his place in the side.
“He has turned in extremely consistent performances which are right up there at the top, and he is a guy who doesn’t shirk away from hard work. We’re delighted he has pledged his future to us.”
Looking forward to what he hopes will be his 200th appearance if selected for Friday’s 8pm kick-off at Kingston Park, Tait said: “It came as a bit of a surprise a couple of weeks ago when I was told I was on 198, but it’s a great honour to be within reach of the 200.
“I’m just thankful to everyone who has helped me along the way, to all the coaches who have had faith in me, all of my team-mates and the Falcons supporters, who have always been great with me. If I’m involved against Gloucester it will be fantastic to reach that milestone, and hopefully we can mark it with a win.”
Tickets for Friday’s 8pm kick-off at Kingston Park Stadium are available by calling 0871 226 6060.