Newcastle have bolstered their second-row options with the signing of former Saracens and Plymouth Albion man Harry Spencer until the end of the season.
The 25-year-old has joined from French club Chalon and is relishing the chance to showcase his talent in the Aviva Premiership.
"I saw it as an opportunity to come over and be part of a proper professional set-up, and some of my old colleagues from Saracens academy said very good things about the club in Adam Powell and Andy Saull," said Spencer.
He added: "It is a chance to try and get back into the professional game, into the top-flight and see where my hard work can take me.
"I have been in France for four years, having gone there from Saracens' academy. It has been a really good learning phase of my career, and I have gained a lot of experience and confidence. I have learnt things that I would not ordinarily have had the chance to learn back home, and hopefully that can complement my game as I look forward in my career."
Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards said: "I have watched a few games he has played, and his decision-making at certain times has been excellent.
"You cannot always get that right, and it is something that is either in you instinctively or is the result of meticulous work over a period of time.
"Considering his age and the relatively small amount of time he has spent in a real professional environment, it led me to believe it is probably more instinctive than anything.
"That is a great attribute to have, and he doesn't shirk the hard work."