Newcastle Falcons have signed Italian international Marco Fuser on a two-year-deal. Fuser, capped 33 times by the Azzurri, joins the Falcons from Pro14 side Benetton Treviso.

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The 29-year-old spent eight seasons with Treviso, winning 119 caps, with 22 of those coming in the Heineken Champions Cup.

The 6’6″ lock made his Test debut in 2012 and won his last cap for Italy against New Zealand two years ago.

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Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “Marco has performed at a consistently high level for the best part of a decade, and will help bring that edge to our forward pack.

“He’s a real grafter who just gets on with the basics, and those are precisely the guys you need in that engine room.

“He’s a destructive tackler who enjoys the tighter aspects of the game, and it’s one of those important building blocks for us as we look to make an impact on our Gallagher Premiership return.”

Fuser is Falcons’ second signing of the summer, following the arrival of Argentina centre Matias Orlando from Jaguares.

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England flanker Mark Wilson returns from hisaloan spell at Sale Sharks, while Nick Easter has joined as defence coach after two years in South Africa.

Newcastle’s promotion to the top flight came on the back of their unbeaten Championship season, Richards’ men winning all 15 of their league games to establish an 18-point lead at the top of the division when the campaign was prematurely ended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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