Wales captain Colin Charvis has spoken of his enthusiasm to get Newcastle Falcons back to the top of the English game.
The 31-year-old has been training with his new colleagues at Kingston Park, and said: "When I decided to leave Tarbes in France last season, I wanted to challenge myself and play at the very top level in British rugby.
"I came up here a while ago to look at the facilities, and in the week I've been at the club so far, I've been really impressed."
Charvis gets a chance to link up with his former Wales and Lions fitness and conditioning coach, Steve Black, something which was a major attraction in coming to the north-east.
"Blackie's just outstanding, and he has his own unique approach to training which works really well, so I'm glad to be back working with him," he said.
Black repaid the compliment, saying: "Colin is a terrific person with a superb character, and he'll be great for the north-east.
"He's dynamic and is a very intelligent player. He's got great skills, and he's a players' player, so he's good at talking to other people. Anyone who trains with him will tell you straightaway how intelligent he is."
Of his new team-mates, Charvis said: "The thing that has really struck me is the attitude in training, and how committed everyone is. I'm getting stuck into some training now with the rest of the guys, and I can't wait for the season to start.
"Having spoken to Rob Andrew before I signed for the Falcons, I was impressed with their philosophy of how they want to play the game - at pace and with the ball in hand.
"Hopefully I can add a bit of experience to the squad, and bring something to help the exciting young players they've got here already."
Commenting on his new signing, Andrew said: "We know what we're getting with Colin - a top player and a current international captain.
"I'm sure he'll be a tremendous success at Newcastle, and the fans should be excited that we've managed to attract a player of his quality."
The last five years have been an emotional rollercoaster on and off the pitch for RGC1404. Promotion to the Principality Premiership was the culmination of five years of hard work and investment in North Wales. WRU TV caught up with prop Joe Simpson, who was one of the first intake of WRU North Wales Academy players in 2010.
Ebbw Vale captain Damien Hudd picked up the biggest accolade of the night at the 11th Principality Premiership Awards Evening held at Principality Stadium, after leading his side to the title for the first time.
Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde is predicting a tough battle against England on Sunday despite the fact they may not be considered to be at full strength. Players will be out to impress Eddie Jones which makes England a dangerous proposition, he says.
Wales U20 captain Tom Phillips and performance psychologist Dr Rich Neil explain why spending three days at Monmouth RFC has further strengthened the togetherness of the squad ahead of the #WorldRugbyU20s