TOM May has told Newcastle Falcons fans to expect a mixture of power and pace from new boy Noah Cato, even if he had an ulterior motive for recommending the club to his Northampton team-mate.
The 24-year-old winger was yesterday unveiled as the Championship leaders’ latest signing ahead of the promotion play-offs, with May revealing: “I am actually sat in his living room right now!
“I have ended up living with him at varying times during our careers at Northampton, which has been quite funny, and I am house-sitting for him for the duration of his spell at Newcastle.
“I am right behind the move just so I can get him out and have the place to myself, and if he is reading this then he will find out I am using all of his stuff while he is away!”
Adding a serious strand to his assessment of the England Saxons winger, the two-time Cup final winner during his decade with Newcastle said: “Noah is up there with some of the very best athletes I have ever played with, and I don’t say that lightly.
“The fans up at Kingston Park can expect a really strong player who combines that with some serious pace, and that obviously makes him a threat for any defender he goes up against.
“He can play at either full-back or on the wing, which gives them great options, and he should be a good signing.”
Heading north until the end of the current campaign after finding limited opportunities at Franklin’s Gardens, May said of the former Saracens and England Under-20s flyer: “For whatever reason he didn’t get as much game time as he probably should have down here at Northampton, and sometimes it just works out that way.
“I have spoken to him about Newcastle, what it offers as a place and what the club is like.
“I think overall it will be good for him, and good for the Falcons as well.” Having turned 34 within the past three weeks, May too finds himself at a crossroads in a glittering career which has seen him capped by England after more than 200 appearances for the Falcons, spending two years with Toulon and now entering the final few months of his contract at Northampton.
“I am still down at the Saints and really enjoying it, but I’m not totally sure what is going to happen next year at this stage,” said the man who scored two tries at Twickenham in Newcastle’s 2001 Tetley’s Bitter Cup final triumph.
“They want me to stay, but we will have to see. I have a couple of other options that I am looking at, and the important thing for me is getting the balance right between life after rugby and still wanting to play at the highest level.
“I am not saying my focus has to change massively, but during the time when I am not training I have to spend more time looking at what I am doing outside of rugby to try and bridge that gap once playing comes to an end for me.
“I want to keep playing for a bit, though. I still feel fit and strong, like I have something to offer, and having started the last couple of games for the Saints I am happy with where I am at.”
Unceremoniously put on the spot about the prospect of a return to Kingston Park should the Falcons achieve their aim of promotion, the Londoner was typically open in tackling a Yorker of a question.
“I don’t know, to be honest,” he admitted.
“It would be strange going back after all this time I suppose, and I would have to learn the language again!
“I have been up a few times to see Hall Charlton even since leaving the Falcons, but we will just have to see what happens.”