England Sevens scrum-half Sam Egerton will be a Newcastle Falcons player from next season.
The 24-year-old made his HSBC Sevens World Series debut for England last weekend in Singapore having spent the previous month at Harlequins, for whom he scored one try in two Aviva Premiership appearances.
Egerton scored a fine individual try for England Sevens in their Bowl semi-final match against Scotland, the former Yorkshire Carnegie scrum-half having enjoyed four Varsity Match victories during his successful time at Oxford University.
Director of rugby Dean Richards was delighted to have secured the signature of the Stoke-born scrum-half, saying: "Sam is an exceptional player.
"He boasts strong decision-making ability, has a good break on him and knows his way to the try-line. He will be a good addition to our squad, which already has a successful former England Sevens player in the form of Marcus Watson."
Egerton said: "I have heard lots of good things about Newcastle Falcons and the city in general. It is a club which has a soul of its own, I want to experience that and it seems a good fit for me with the brand of rugby they play. I like the idea of playing on a fast track up there, it suits my game and this is an exciting move.
"I would say I’m more of a running No 9, and I like to be a threat around the fringes. I will be working hard on my skill set moving back to 15s after a year in sevens, because the role of the scrum-half is different between the two, but I will try and bring a high-tempo game with me. I can’t wait to get started."
Making the transition from the shortened version of the game, he added: "Being involved with England Sevens has been a great experience. The World Sevens Series is incredibly competitive and games are decided by very fine margins. In Singapore last weekend we were on the wrong end of a few of those, but it was a fantastic experience and one I thoroughly enjoyed.
"Marcus Watson has successfully made the move from England Sevens to Newcastle Falcons within the past year, and has done really well. If I can make anywhere near the impact he has made I will be really pleased."
Scoring against Sale Sharks during his pair of recent top-flight appearances for Harlequins, Egerton said: "Going to Quins was a really positive experience.
"I played in the Championship last year for Yorkshire Carnegie and I couldn’t turn the chance to play in the Aviva Premiership. I got a couple of league games under my belt at Harlequins which progressed my career in that sense, and I always saw myself more as a 15-a-side player. I think I am better at 15s than I am at sevens, and I am looking forward to seeing what comes of it."
Egerton becomes the Falcons’ third confirmed addition for the 2016-17 season following the signings of Leicester’s Vereniki Goneva and Jersey prop Sam Lockwood.
The club this week recorded a 10-year high for single-day season ticket sales – Sunday’s 13-6 home win over London Irish being followed by a wave of bookings for the 2016-17 campaign.