Samoa flanker Taiasina Tu'ifua joins Newcastle Falcons

Taiasina Tu'ifua
Tu'ifua is part of Samoa's Rugby World Cup squad for the 2011 tournament in September

Newcastle Falcons have signed Samoa international flanker Taiasina Tu'ifua on undisclosed terms for the 2011-12 Premiership campaign.

The 26-year-old, has Super 15 experience with the Chiefs and has represented Counties Manukau in the New Zealand domestic championship.

"He's a big ball carrier, and I hope he can bring that to the Falcons," head coach Alan Tait told BBC Newcastle.

"He's that piece of the jigsaw we've been looking for."

Tu'ifua burst onto the international scene with an impressive performance in Samoa's 32-23 victory against Australiaexternal-link in Sydney last month.

The back-row, who can also play number eight, will join up with the Falcons after completing his Rugby World Cup commitments in New Zealand throughout September and October.

"It's good for the club and the player, he's been knocking around the New Zealand leagues, represented the Chiefs but he's not really stamped his authority on the big stage," Tait continued.

"I'm really excited about getting him on board, and low and behold he's a school team-mate of Jamie [Helleur] and Andrew [van der Heijden].

"It's a small world, they're both excited and they agreed he will bring something different to the Falcons."