Newcastle Falcons have announced the signing of prop Mark Tampin from Ealing Trailfinders on a two-year deal.
Tampin graduated from Leeds Carnegie and started his career with Rotherham Titans before switching to Jersey Reds in the 2016/17 season. The 27-year-old spent last two seasons with Ealing and now will be aiming to propel his career with the Falcons.
“I’ve been trying to get to a club like this for a while now and I just want to make it count,” said Tampin, who will join the squad during pre-season.
“Newcastle Falcons are a big club, everyone knows the name and they have a well-established reputation. People know the Falcons had a massive year last year, and even though a bit of luck has been against them this time round they’ve still got everything in place to bounce back.
“I know quite a few of the lads already because of my time at Rotherham when a number of the Falcons boys came down on loan.
"I also know Sam Lockwood and Gary Graham pretty well from our time at Jersey, and Newcastle’s forwards coach Micky Ward used to come down to Rotherham and coach the front-row when I was there.
“I suppose that means I’ve got the inside track and I have a decent idea of what to expect, but it’s a great move and I can’t wait to get up there.”
Newcastle Falcons had a tough 2018/19 season where they faced relegation from the Premiership and will now have to prove their mettle in the second tier and Tampin warned that the Championship will not be a walk in the park for Dean Richard's men.
“The Championship is a tough league, especially when you’re one of the better teams. It means there’s a target on your back, guys are raising their game against you because most of them are trying to get Premiership contracts and they know that having a big game against Newcastle is a good way for them to achieve that.
“A lot of Championship teams are similar until they come up against one of the top two teams, and they raise their game massively for those occasions. It’s something the Falcons need to be aware of because we’re probably going to get it all season, and it definitely won’t be easy.
“Each year the Championship is getting better and better, it will have improved noticeably from when Newcastle were last down there and the guys need to be ready for that.
“Ealing definitely won’t make it an easy ride, I can say that from first-hand experience, and there are some other good sides out there for sure.”