Sonatane Takulua: Newcastle Falcons sign Tongan half-back
Newcastle Falcons have signed Tonga international scrum-half Sonatane Takulua with immediate effect from New Zealand side Northland.
Takulua, 24, has agreed terms at Kingston Park through until the end of next season.
The playmaker will add cover to the Falcons' existing first-grade half-backs Mike Blair and Ruki Tipuna.
"I'm looking forward to learning and sharing skills. I can't wait to get on the field," Takulua said.
"My dream of playing full-time rugby is finally coming true.
"It's been a lot of hard work and sacrifice but I'm delighted to be at Newcastle," he added.
Takulua's form with Northland in the domestic New Zealand ITM Cup competition brought him into the development programme of the Auckland Blues - who play in the elite southern hemisphere Super 15 competition.
The latest of Takulua's five international caps came against Scotland in November last year and he has also featured in Tonga's sevens side.
"Tane is a good quality player who has been making steady progress over in New Zealand through playing in the ITM Cup and being part of the Blues set up in their development squad last year," Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said.
"I'm sure he will continue in that vein at Kingston Park and make a valuable contribution to the club over the course of this season and next."