Newcastle Falcons have confirmed the signing of centre Gareth Owen from Gallagher Premiership rivals Leicester Tigers for the 2019/20 season.
Owen started his career with Maesteg in 2007 and featured for Bridgend, Swansea, Llanelli, Llandovery and Carmarthen Quins before joining Leicester Tigers in 2017. He also had stints with provincial sides Ospreys and Scarlets between 2007 and 2017.
His debut for the Tigers came against London Irish in Madejski Stadium and went on to play 20 games in the Premiership scoring a couple of tries.
“I see this as an exciting new challenge, even if things unfortunately didn’t go to plan for the Falcons in terms of remaining in the Premiership.
“I’m excited about trying to get the boys back up where they belong, and from a family perspective it’s great to be moving to the North East.
“People think of Newcastle Falcons as being a Premiership club, we have to work hard next season and take nothing for granted to regain that status, and it’s all set up here to do that.
“I played for Leicester against them a couple of weeks ago in a game which helped to seal their fate in terms of relegation, but that’s just the way sport goes.
"Once next season starts I’m a Newcastle player so I’ll be fully committed to the club, and from what I experienced a few weeks ago I know I’m joining a club with great supporters, a nice stadium and a huge amount of ability.
“I think I have quite a bit of experience at a high level, I’ve played across the back line and I can offer something to the squad. I’m just looking forward to getting up there for pre-season now and really making the most of this opportunity.”
The 30-year-old has also represented Wales Under 19, Wales Under 20 and Wales Sevens sides in the past.
“Gareth brings a lot of top-level experience and will help to get our back-line firing next season," said Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards.
“He is a very balanced centre with a great skill set who can help get the most out of our other talented players, and we look forward to working with him when he arrives in the summer.”