David Wilson has returned to his home town club, signing for Newcastle Falcons seven years after leaving for Bath.
Capped 44 times by England, the 31-year-old tight-head has signed on a permanent basis with immediate effect.
Delighted to have landed his man, Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “This is a signing which underlines our ambitious plans for the club and our commitment to providing a platform for homegrown players.
“Davey is someone I have long admired, he is from the area and his playing qualities are obvious. He has a wealth of Aviva Premiership and international experience under his belt and he will make a significant contribution to the improvements we are working towards.
“He understands what Newcastle Falcons means to people in this region, his scrummaging and all-round understanding of the game is fantastic and with Davey on board we have added absolute top quality ability in such a key area of the field.”
South Shields native Wilson came through the Falcons’ academy via Westoe RFC and Harton School, making his first-team debut aged 18 and going on to make 54 league appearances and a further 13 in Europe. Departing for Bath in the summer of 2009 he made his England debut against Argentina in June of that year, becoming a mainstay of the England pack for the subsequent six seasons.
Playing in both the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups, the renowned scrummager also boasts a total of 156 Aviva Premiership appearances as well as another 51 European outings.
Speaking on his homecoming, Wilson said: “I have been considering this move for a while and it is fantastic that we have been able to finalise everything.
“I came through the academy here at Newcastle, I loved playing for the club and I have been watching from a distance these past few years taking note of all the improvements going on at Kingston Park. They are doing good things under Dean Richards, the set-up seems much more professional and the quality of the squad is outstanding.
“I enjoyed watching their game against Leicester at the weekend, they are playing some great rugby and I can’t wait to get going.”
Bath Rugby are saddened to see Wilson leave, however having received a request from the player to return to his home-town of Newcastle, have agreed to release him from his contract.
Wilson added: “I’m really thankful to Bath for everything they have done for me throughout my career, and for understanding my request to leave. I’ve had a fantastic seven years here, have worked with some great people and made lifelong friends. Bath is a great Club and I’m sad to be leaving, but know it’s the right decision at this moment in time.”
Bath Director of Rugby, Todd Blackadder, added: “We’re obviously really sad to see Davey go, but totally understand his request. I’ve not known him long, but Davey is a fantastic character, and he’s been a great servant to the Club in the time he’s been here. We wish him all the very best at Newcastle, and I’m sure he’ll get a warm welcome whenever he comes back to the Rec.”