Tight-head prop Mark Tampin has become Newcastle Falcons’ latest signing ahead of the 2019-20 season, the Ealing Trailfinders prop joining on a two-year deal.
Tampin, 27, was born in London but began his professional rugby career in Yorkshire, coming through Leeds Carnegie’s academy and going on to make his name as a regular for Rotherham Titans.
Moving to Jersey Reds for the 2016-17 season where he played alongside current Falcons players Gary Graham and Sam Lockwood, Tampin has spent the last two seasons at Ealing Trailfinders, who this season won the Championship Cup as well as finishing second in the Championship title race.
“I’ve been trying to get to a club like this for a while now and I just want to make it count,” said Tampin, who will arrive in July for the start of pre-season.
“Newcastle Falcons are a big club, everyone knows the name and they have a well-established reputation. People know the Falcons had a massive year last year, and even though a bit of luck has been against them this time round they’ve still got everything in place to bounce back.
“I know quite a few of the lads already because of my time at Rotherham when a number of the Falcons boys came down on loan. I also know Sam Lockwood and Gary Graham pretty well from our time at Jersey, and Newcastle’s forwards coach Micky Ward used to come down to Rotherham and coach the front-row when I was there.
“I suppose that means I’ve got the inside track and I have a decent idea of what to expect, but it’s a great move and I can’t wait to get up there.”
Insisting the Falcons won’t have it all their own way in the second tier, Tampin said: “It won’t be walk in the park - I can tell everyone that right from the off.
“The Championship is a tough league, especially when you’re one of the better teams. It means there’s a target on your back, guys are raising their game against you because most of them are trying to get Premiership contracts and they know that having a big game against Newcastle is a good way for them to achieve that.
“A lot of Championship teams are similar until they come up against one of the top two teams, and they raise their game massively for those occasions. It’s something the Falcons need to be aware of because we’re probably going to get it all season, and it definitely won’t be easy.
“Each year the Championship is getting better and better, it will have improved noticeably from when Newcastle were last down there and the guys need to be ready for that.
“Ealing definitely won’t make it an easy ride, I can say that from first-hand experience, and there are some other good sides out there for sure.”
Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards welcomed Tampin’s arrival, saying: “Mark has been on our radar for some time now, and we look forward to working with him.
“He’s a very street-wise prop who has forged an outstanding reputation through his hard work in the Championship, and he’s a great addition to a very competitive front-row pool for next season.”