Premiership winner Matias Moroni has signed for Newcastle Falcons, with the Argentina centre agreeing to a two-year deal to move to Kingston Park.
A regular with newly-crowned Premiership champions Leicester Tigers, Moroni started at Twickenham during Saturday’s dramatic final victory over Saracens.
Also playing in the Super Rugby final with Jaguares, Moroni has been capped 57 times by Argentina, scoring ten international tries, and is part of the Pumas squad which will host Scotland in a three-test series next month.
“I like how Newcastle want to play the game, and I feel like I can fit in there,” said the Buenos Aires native as he looks forward to joining international team-mates Matias Orlando and Mateo Carreras in the Falcons’ ranks.
“Matias and I have known each other since playing together for Argentina Under-20s, and he is one of my best friends as well as being a top player. We know we can play well together because we have done it for many years, and I obviously know Mateo as well from our time together with the Pumas.
“It’s always useful having someone you trust who is already at the club, because they can tell you what it’s really like, and through the chats I have had with Matias I know that Newcastle is a place where I will be happy on and off the field.”
Playing his junior rugby with Club Universitario de Buenos Aires, Moroni played 47 times for Jaguares in Super Rugby and also represented Argentina in the Olympic Games as part of their sevens side for Rio 2016.
Welcoming his latest addition to the club, Newcastle Falcons head coach Dave Walder said: “Matias is a hugely well-respected player who will add a lot to our group, and it’s great that we have been able to sign a player of his standing in the game.
“He has been a central figure for a really strong Leicester side this season, going on to start in the Premiership final. He’s an outstanding character and he brings a level of experience and leadership which will be really valuable for us as we look to move forward this season.”
Moroni, when asked what he hopes to bring to the Falcons, said: “If I could sum it up in a word, I would say ‘intensity’.
“I might not be the best kicker or passer if you are looking at an individual skill, but I will do everything with intensity and look to play for the team.
“I have built up a good amount of experience over the years which will hopefully be useful for the rest of the team, and I’m excited about this new opportunity with Newcastle.
“I have enjoyed playing in the Premiership at Leicester, and it’s a competition which I think suits my game. I am thankful to everyone at Tigers and will take only good memories from my time there, and now I’m looking forward to this new challenge with the Falcons.”
Moroni becomes the Falcons’ sixth signing of the summer, following the previously-announced arrivals of Ospreys fly-half Josh Thomas, Bath fly-half Tian Schoeman, Doncaster Knights lock Josh Peters, Austin Gilgronis lock Sebastian de Chaves and Coventry scrum-half Josh Barton.
The Falcons have also welcomed six players into their senior academy for the coming season, in scrum-half Ben Douglas, hooker Charlie Smith, prop Mike Rewcastle, lock Luke Coulston, wing Nathan Greenwood and centre Jeremy Civil.