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Falcons swoop for Tuilagi brothers

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Former Leicester powerhouse Alesana Tuilagi, right, has signed a two-year deal to join Newcastle Falcons next season

Former Leicester powerhouse Alesana Tuilagi, right, has signed a two-year deal to join Newcastle Falcons next season

Former Leicester powerhouse Alesana Tuilagi, right, has signed a two-year deal to join Newcastle Falcons next season

Brothers Alesana and Anitelea Tuilagi have agreed two-year deals to join Newcastle Falcons next season.

Alesana, a three-time Aviva Premiership champion with Leicester Tigers commonly known as Alex, will make the north-east switch from Japanese outfit NTT Shining Arcs.

Anitelea 'Andy' Tuilagi will join the Kingston Park club after two years at Newport Gwent Dragons.

The Samoa three-quarter duo take rugby director Dean Richards' signings tally for next term to eight.

Alesana Tuilagi made 109 appearances in eight years at Leicester, before heading to Japan in 2012.

The 26-cap Samoa powerhouse is now 33, but Newcastle boss Richards is confident he can still cause havoc in the Premiership.

"Andy and Alex are quality acquisitions and have bags of experience at the very highest level," said Richards.

"I'm delighted that we have secured their services for next season, both of whom will undoubtedly add some real fire-power to our back line.

"Both have real physicality and pace to burn which is exactly what you need to be successful in the Premiership, and I look forward to welcoming them to Newcastle this summer."

Wrecking-ball wing Alesana admitted he cannot wait to make his return to English rugby and reunite with his former Leicester boss Richards.

"I'm extremely excited at the prospect of returning to the Aviva Premiership with Newcastle," said Alesana.

"Newcastle is a big club with huge potential, and under Dean Richards there is an exciting vision for rugby in the North East which I want to be a part of.

"I really enjoyed my time in the Premiership with Leicester, and I'm delighted to get the opportunity to play in what I see as the most competitive league in the world."

Anitelea Tuilagi numbers alongside five siblings to have graced Leicester colours, allied to Alesana, current England and British Lions centre Manu, Freddie, Henry and Vavae.

The 27-year-old spent three years with Sale Sharks before his stint at the Dragons.

"There are certainly big things taking shape at Newcastle and it's a club that is looking to thrive in the Premiership next season," said Anitelea.

"It's great that the club has cemented its place in the Premiership ahead of next season, a league that a club of Newcastle's magnitude should be playing in week in, week out.

"I can't wait to get stuck into pre-season now with my new team-mates."


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