England's Mathew Tait predicted bright times ahead after signing a new contract with Newcastle Falcons.
The 22-year-old, who has found himself out of England’s starting line-up during the RBS 6 Nations, has penned a new one-year deal, keeping him at the Premiership club until the summer of 2009.
Tait said: “It is always a big decision when contracts come up for renewal, but I’m delighted to have agreed a new deal and look forward to helping the Falcons fulfil their ambitions.
“Newcastle is a fantastic club with a massive amount of quality, and under John Fletcher there are exciting times ahead.
“We play a fast brand of attacking rugby, and as a player it’s great fun to be part of as well as being a very challenging style of play.
“It is a great environment to be in with a focus on learning and improving every single day in training, and that was a major factor in my decision.”
Tait, who can play at centre, wing or full-back, first hit the headlines when he was named in England’s starting line-up for the opening RBS 6 Nations clash against Wales in 2005.
Tait’s deal follows fly-half Wilkinson’s decision to commit his future to the Falcons last month, and director of rugby Fletcher feels the club is heading in the right direction.
“Mathew is among the most gifted young players in the world, and the fact that he sees his future at Newcastle Falcons is further endorsement of what we are doing here and the level of ambition currently at the club,” he said.
“It is no secret that a number of other top teams were keen on signing Mathew, but he is a vital part of our jigsaw and is fully buying in to what we are doing here at the moment.
“Coming on the back of Jonny Wilkinson pledging his future to the Falcons and the arrival of world-class talent like Carl Hayman, this is a club where the top players want to be, and Mathew is no exception.”
Tait made his debut for the Falcons at the age of 18 and has scored 23 tries in 73 starts.