In October 2017 Scottish Rugby and Edinburgh suspended Hardie from selection for both club or country, but gave no details on why he was not being considered.
It was widely reported that the suspension came following a club social which got out of hand, with several players enjoying themselves a little too much.
While he returned to play following suspension, he was released by Edinburgh Rugby at the end of the season.
The 16-times-capped Scotland flanker spent the summer training with French giants Clermont, but joined the Falcons at the end of October.
But now he’s signed a new two-year deal with the Kingston Park club.
Starting for the Falcons in their Gallagher Premiership victories over Harlequins and Bath during November, his tough tackling and breakdown expertise have quickly made him an important ingredient of the club’s forward pack.
“I’m incredibly grateful to Newcastle Falcons for giving me the opportunity of playing here in the first place,” said the 30-year-old, who broke through with Southland and the Highlanders in his native New Zealand before moving to Scotland in 2015.
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“I’m enjoying playing in the Gallagher Premiership, it’s a new competition to me and something I’d always wanted to have a crack at.
“The lads have been great in terms of how they’ve welcomed me to the club, the set-up here is enjoyable and despite our current league position I’ve got absolute full confidence that we have the quality and mind-set to pull ourselves up the league.”
Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we have been able to agree a longer-term deal with John, having initially brought him here for the rest of the current season.
“He is a proven performer at the very highest level, he offers a lot to the side and his work around the breakdown and tackle area is absolutely top class.
“It’s great news that John sees his future with the Falcons, and it says a lot about the environment here that players of his quality are willing to sign.”
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