Sami Mavinga: Newcastle Falcons signing from Lyon excites Dean Richards

Sami Mavinga
Sami Mavinga scored in Lyon's home game against Newcastle in the European Challenge Cup

Lyon prop Sami Mavinga can be a "destructive" presence when he joins Newcastle Falcons next season, says director of rugby Dean Richards.

The 23-year-old Frenchman impressed against the Falcons in this season's European Challenge Cup, scoring a try in one of the two group stage fixtures.

He joins compatriot Maxime Mermoz among the new faces at Falcons for 2016-17.

"We're constantly looking and trying to improve on what we have," Richards told BBC Newcastle.

"Sami's a loose-head who will be quite destructive as a scrummager."

Jersey flanker Gary Graham was confirmed at the same time as Mavinga, following in the footsteps of father George at Kingston Park.

Richards has been impressed with the recruits already confirmed for next term, notably in the three-quarters where Mermoz, DTH van der Merwe and Josh Matavesi add to the existing options in Vereniki Goneva, Juan Pablo Socino and Sinoti Sinoti.

"There'll be a lot of ball thrown around looking at the back-line we've got," Richards added.

"I don't think there will be many teams in the Premiership with the stardust we've got."

Newcastle, eighth in the Premiership table, travel to Harlequins on Saturday looking for their first win in three games.

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