Tipuna signs Newcastle deal

Newcastle Falcons have signed Bristol scrum-half Ruki Tipuna on a two-year contract for next season season.

Tipuna has been a key player for the West Country side since arriving from Scarlets in November 2011.

The New Zealander has scored seven tries this season for Bristol, including two last weekend in the 33-27 win over Leeds Carnegie.

"I'm really excited at the prospect of testing myself against the very best in the Aviva Premiership," the 30-year-old told Newcastle's website.

"Newcastle Falcons certainly has a bright future under Dean Richards and I'm looking forward to helping the club move up to the next level.

"My focus at the moment is with my current club Bristol, and I want to help them achieve their ambition of playing in the Aviva Premiership.

Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: "Ruki is a quality signing for the club, whose experience and skillset will be invaluable for the club.

"I'm looking forward to welcoming him to Kingston Park in the summer, and he is an exciting talent that will relish playing for Newcastle."