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."
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.