As the most northerly rugby club in Aviva Premiership Rugby, it’s no surprise that Newcastle Falcons has become a popular destination for Scots, and latest recruit Jon Welsh admits it’s aided his arrival this summer.
The Scotland tighthead joined from Pro12 champions Glasgow Warriors for the start of the new season, joining up with the club after the Scots’ World Cup campaign came to a close last month.
Falcons bade farewell to two Scots at the end of last year, with Mike Blair heading in the opposite direction to Welsh, and Phil Godman retiring.
But in addition to the former Warrior, Kingston Park is also home to hooker Scott Lawson, second row Scott MacLeod and flanker Ally Hogg.
And Welsh admits that has made his adjustment to his new club a great deal easier having spent the previous seven seasons of his career in Glasgow.
“It’s been a good transition for me,” he explained.
“The club has been great and the guys have been really welcoming. There are a lot of new faces but I know the Scottish guys well and they have been really helpful.
“I’d been in touch with a lot of the Scottish guys here before I made the move, and even though a couple have now left, there is still a good group of us here.”
The decision to leave the Warriors after they had just won the Pro12 title might seem a strange one on the surface for Welsh, who featured regularly for Scotland in the World Cup.
However at 29, and after playing his entire career north of the border, Welsh was ready to try something new.
“It’s a new challenge for me, and Newcastle are a team that had a really promising season last year,” he added.
“The signings they have made over the summer show that they have ambition and it’s great to be involved.
“It was always going to take us some time with the new guys coming in and people starting at different times.
“But we feel like things are starting to come together and we are going to turn the corner soon.”
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