Newcastle have confirmed the signing of Scotland flanker John Hardie on a free transfer. The 30-year-old has been without a club since being suspended by Edinburgh and Scotland for gross misconduct and was on the market after being released in the summer.
A trial at French giants Clermont followed but after failing to agree a deal, he has now been signed by Newcastle as cover for Will Welch.
Fellow back-rower Welch looks set for a couple of months out after suffering an ankle injury in the recent 20-7 defeat at Sale.
The length of the deal has not been confirmed and it is unclear when he will be ready to play.
Hardie, who has 16 caps for Scotland and was part of the Highlanders squad who won the Super Rugby title in 2015, says he is pleased to be back in the game and is ready to rebuild his career.
“It’s fantastic to be here in Newcastle and to have this opportunity,” he said.
“I’ve been watching their recent games and it seems to be a positive environment, so I’m just looking forward to getting started. It’s a fresh start for me, I’m determined get back on the rugby field and to begin this new chapter.”