Newcastle Falcons have confirmed the signing of Argentine centre Juan Pablo Socino from Championship side Rotherham.
The goal-kicking centre’s arrival was announced at last night’s fans’ forum, at which the club confirmed their intention to install an artificial pitch at their Kingston Park Stadium in time for the start of next season.
That is dependent on planning permission being granted, but Premiership Rugby approval has already been secured as the Falcons look to improve in a playing surface which has cut up badly during the past few seasons.
Club owner Semore Kurdi insisted the Falcons intent to stay atKingston Park beyond the end of their current lease, which expires in June 2017, but said negotiations werenot yet under way to secure an extension.
Kurdi also confirmed The Journal’s exclusive of two weeks ago that an offer has been made to buy Gateshead Thunder rugby league club, revealing he is yet to hear if it has been accepted.
The owner said he does not envisage any merger of playing and backroom resources should the deal go through, but until he hears back regarding his offer there will be no further information.
England Under-20s caps Dom Barrow and Scott Wilson handed the club a boost by signing new two-year deals, director of rugby Dean Richards insisting further signings would be announced over the next month to six weeks.
Yorkshireman Barrow was last year part of the England Under-20s team which became the first ever to win the Junior World Championship at that age group.
Commercial consultant Mick Hogan confirmed under-11s will gain free entry to all games next season, and that season ticket prices would be frozen.
Hogan also stated the Falcons’ preference for Sunday afternoon home games with a small number of Friday nights, and confirmed the club will have a new kit supplier for next season.