Tongan international scrum half Sonatane Takulua will remain part of the Newcastle Falcons squad after agreeing a new contract with the Kingston Park club.
Takulua joined Dean Richards’ side in February 2015 and has impressed with strong performances in the number nine shirt for the club.
In his 16 appearances to date, Takulua has demonstrated skill and ability at reading a game, distributing the ball, and making himself a potent attacking threat with some powerful running.
The Lapaha born player, who represented his country during the 2015 Rugby World Cup, will join Ruaridh Dawson, Sam Egerton and Michael Young in competing for the scrum half jersey in season 2016/17.
Relishing the opportunity to continue playing in the Aviva Premiership, Takulua said: "I’m happy to be staying at Newcastle. I’ve been here for a season and a half now and I feel happy and I know what Premiership Rugby is about. Hopefully next season, with a bit more game time, I can be more confident in it.
“I’ve had a bit of a frustrating season, coming back with an injury from the World Cup and then getting a couple of others. I’ve come back from those and gotten some game time in the last few games and I’m pretty happy with that. Hopefully I can stay injury free and get plenty more next season.”
Falcons’ director of rugby Dean Richards said: “Tane has been a valuable part of the squad since joining us last year and it is good news that he will remain with us.
“He enjoyed a good world cup for Tonga and earned that place on the back of the good performances he delivered for us. He has shown a good turn of pace and good strength for us and I’m looking forward to seeing more from him in the future.”