Newcastle Falcons have completed the signing of Portuguese outside centre Pedro Bettencourt from French club Carcassonne ahead of the new season.
A Portugese international at both 7s and 15s, the 23-year-old spent two seasons in the academy of French giants Clermont and has been a regular starter for Carcassonne in France’s Pro D2 for the past two years.
Standing at 6 foot 1 and weighing 94kg, Bettencourt is renowned for his hard-hitting defence, piercing attacking runs and offloading game, director of rugby Dean Richards welcoming him on board as his eighth senior signing of the summer.
“Pedro was initially recommended to us by a well-respected contact of ours on the continent, and on the strength of that endorsement we decided to take a much closer look at him over a period of time,” said the Falcons boss.
“He is a player who ticks all the boxes in terms of what we want from an outside centre, he speaks good English and we think he can make a mark here. He is over here already training with the boys, and we look forward to seeing the impact he can make.”
Bettencourt’s arrival comes on the back of the previously-announced signings of George McGuigan (Leicester Tigers), Logovi’i Mulipola (Leicester Tigers), Guy Graham (Hawick), Tom Arscott (Rouen), Connor Collett (North Harbour), Nemani Nagusa (Aurillac) and Johnny Williams (London Irish), as well as senior academy promotions for England Under-18s stars Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, Morgan Passman, Will Montgomery, Tom Marshall, Josh Hodge and Rob Farrar.