Vea signs for Newcastle

Date published: March 17 2015

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Newcastle Falcons have confirmed the signing of Tongan international prop Taione Vea, who will join the Premiership club from London Welsh.

Vea, 26, will arrive at the Falcons on a two-year deal in time for 2015/16.

The powerful prop received his first international cap against Japan in the 2013 Pacific Nations Cup and has gone on to make six appearances to date for his country.

Auckland-born Vea began his career with New Zealand side North Harbour before moving to the Premiership first with Wasps and later with London Welsh.

"I've spoken with Dean about his plans for Newcastle Falcons and his vision on where the club is going and it sounds like something I want to be involved with," he told the Falcons.

"I'm still learning a lot and want to get more Premiership experience so I'm looking forward to doing that at Newcastle Falcons."

Vea will move to the North East this off-season in preparation for the start of the 2015/16 campaign, although there are a number of familiar faces already at the club.

"I've played with Uili Kolo'ofai and although I've never played with Tane Takulua we know of each other from home. I've played with Richard Mayhew in New Zealand too though; he was about during my first season and really looked after me during that time, he's a good guy.

"I've heard the North East is a great place to live and that there's a lovely group of people up there so I'm looking forward to it, although I'm not too sure about the cold – after two years in London I still haven't quite acclimatised to the UK weather yet!"

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards added: "We're pleased to be able to add Taione to the squad for the next season. He's a quality prop who is a great scrummager and equally strong on the loose work too.

"As a Tongan international he brings a powerful and skilled head to our front row, although he's also a very humble guy who I know will fit in well with our squad."

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