Newcastle Falcons have strengthened their playing stocks further, with the Kingston Park club last night announcing the signing of lock Kane Thompson from Super 15 side The Chiefs.
An imposing physical presence, 6ft 6in tall and weighing in at 17st 9lbs, Thompson is regarded as an analytical and skilful line-out leader and will bring a wealth of experience of Super 15 and International rugby, by virtue of his 28 caps for Samoa.
Primarily a second row, Thompson has also played with distinction at number eight during his three seasons at French club US Dax and will add further options to the Falcons pack.
His career to date shows a player who quickly becomes an integral part of his club squads, with his ITM Cup campaigns with Southland and Hawks Bay, his Super 15 careers with the Highlanders and the Chiefs and his European spell with US Dax all showing a high number of appearances and starts.
Thompson has also distinguished himself on the international stage after opting to represent Samoa ahead of the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
Qualifying for the Pacific Island nation through his grandmother, he has featured in two of the IRB’s showpiece tournaments and also made a try scoring contribution to his country’s landmark win against Australia in 2011.
Newcastle Falcons’ director of rugby Dean Richards said: “Kane is a proven operator at the highest levels of rugby in the Southern Hemisphere and has down very well internationally for Samoa.
“We have really liked what we have seen of him and expect that the supporters will too – and fully anticipate he will repeat what he has done all the way throughout his career and establish himself as a key member of the squad.”