Josh Furno will be Newcastle Falcons asset, says Carlo Del Fava

By Gemma CollisBBC Newcastle
Italy's Josh Furno gets tackled during the Castle Larger Incoming Tour match between Italy and Scotland
Italian lock Josh Furno will play for Newcastle Falcons this season following a successful six nations earlier this year

Recently-retired Newcastle player Carlo Del Fava is excited to see Italian compatriot Josh Furno playing for the Falcons this season.

Former Biarritz lock Furno is one of ten new signings for Dean Richards' side ahead of the 2014-15 season.

"I think because he had a really good Six Nations - scoring tries, going through loads of work on the pitch," Del Fava told BBC Newcastle.

"He's come on leaps and bounds since he was in Italy."

The 24-year old has been capped 18 times by his country, playing in all five of their Six Nations matches earlier this year and scoring against Scotland.

Furno follows in the footsteps of Del Fava in becoming the second Italian lock to play for the Falcons.

Del Fava retired from rugby earlier this year and is enjoying his weekends of "daddy day care" now he has finished his playing career.

Six Nations 2014 highlights: Italy 20-21 Scotland

He is confident the team will be benefitted by his successor.

"He's learnt the harder way of living in the second division in France," he added.

"If he brings that hard edge and a bit of the dynamism and athleticism that he has and you combine all of that with some good clear solid direction from John Wells, then I think he's going to be a good asset to the team."

The Falcons finished 11th last season, narrowly avoiding relegation having won only three of their 22 games.

Newcastle will kick off their 2014-15 campaign against Leicester Tigers on Saturday, 6 September.