England star Jonny Wilkinson will head into this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship convinced he has made the right decision by pledging his future with Newcastle.
And Wilkinson could celebrate a new contract at Kingston Park by reaching two career milestones during the next nine days.
The 2003 World Cup winner, who starts for Newcastle at Leicester on Saturday, is just nine points short of reaching 2,000 in Falcons colours.
And an 18-point haul in the RBS 6 Nations opener when Wales arrive at Twickenham on Saturday week would give him 1,000 points for England.
By dealing with domestic business and agreeing a two-year deal on Tyneside, Wilkinson ended speculation surrounding any possible big-money move to another Premiership club or further afield in Europe.
The new contract, believed to be worth in excess of £550,000, will see Wilkinson remain a Newcastle player beyond his 30th birthday.
He said: “I feel my career at Newcastle has been time well spent and that the next two years will be also.
“These decisions are never easy because there is a lot of great rugby being played all over the place, but for me this time it was fairly simple because I knew I had to follow my heart.
“Newcastle is where I feel I can get the best out of myself and make the biggest contribution to the team, helping the club and its other players to reach their potential.
“I definitely feel Newcastle is a team that can compete with the best in Europe.
“I had a number of great opportunities available and I am in a very blessed position in that regard.
“There are fantastic clubs doing fantastic things all around England and Europe right now.
“I spoke to one or two but ultimately it was a rugby decision and I feel Newcastle Falcons is a great club with a lot of ambition.
“It is a case of being where I feel is best, both to get the best out of myself and to make a contribution so that others can do the same and fulfil their own ambitions for the good of the team.”
Wilkinson, despite a strong challenge from gifted Wasps fly-half prospect Danny Cipriani, looks poised to retain the England number 10 shirt against Wales.
And the more laid-back approach he has latterly tried to encourage during a career noted for its relentless intensity should again not be far from the surface.
Wilkinson added: “Wherever I play my rugby, it will be fun, it will be challenging and it will be the best I’ve got.
“Winning things with Newcastle is definitely important because it gives us direction and allows us to set our goals.
“That is a fantastic thing, but it is the experience of getting better every day that I enjoy.”