Newcastle Falcons sign Stormers lock Adriaan Fondse

Adriaan Fondse
Newcastle intend to add more signings after Fondse's arrival

Premiership bottom side Newcastle Falcons have signed Stormers and Western Province lock Adriaan Fondse.

The 28-year-old, who joined the Stormers from the Bulls in 2008, has played more than 30 times for the Cape Town-based Super Rugby franchise.

Newcastle head coach Alan Tait said: "He is really well respected in South Africa. He is a tremendous athlete.

"It now gives us more options in the second row and it will obviously increase competition."

The ex-South Africa Under-21 international will join a growing contingent of South Africans at the Tyneside club with Greg Goosen, Ashley Wells and Corne Uys already at the Falcons.

"Adriaan is a big physical man and he is a great signing for the club," said Uys, who played with Fondse at Western Province.

"He is a good ball carrier who works really hard for the team and as a person he is a nice guy - you could say he is a gentle giant."

Tait added: "He takes the ball clean from line-outs and in that area he is spot on. We have to get our line-out right so that the backs can operate with quick, clean ball.

"His defence and work-rate around the field is at a really high standard and he is up there with Tim Swinson - he's just another quality player.

"We have an owner who is desperate for this club to improve and desperate for the North East people to come back and watch this club."