Newcastle have completed the signing of Leicester hooker Rob Hawkins on a two-year deal as the club's recruitment drive continues ahead of 2014/15.
The 31-year-old was an Aviva Premiership winner with Leicester last term, coming off the bench for for his second Premiership final outing as the Tigers beat Northampton 37-17 at Twickenham. His first final came in 2011 with Leicester Tigers narrowly going down 22-18 against Saracens.
Making 61 appearances for the East Midlands club since his move from Bath in 2010, the former England U21 featured in Saturday's 27-15 victory over Wasps, a result which tightened the Tigers' grip on a place in the Premiership's top four.
Front-rower Hawkins also has Heineken Cup experience and scored a try in Leicester's 2011 quarter-final against Leinster at Aviva Stadium.
As well as lifting the Aviva Premiership, Hawkins picked up an LV= Cup winners medal in 2012 before his season was cut short after suffering an elbow injury in the final against Northampton.
"I'm really excited about my move up to Newcastle and it is a fresh challenge I am looking forward to," said Hawkins.
"I've spoken to Dean [Richards] and I was very impressed with his plans for the club - his record in the game speaks for itself.
"Hopefully I can finish the season on a high with Leicester and help the club lift the Aviva Premiership for the second year in a row," added Hawkins.
Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards said: "Rob is an extremely talented hooker and his vast experience at this level will be invaluable for the club.
"We have a series of youngsters coming through the ranks at the moment and his knowledge and understanding of the game will be a huge benefit to them as they learn their trade in the Aviva Premiership."