Newcastle Falcons have continued their recruitment drive ahead of the new Aviva Premiership season with the signing of Munster centre Danny Barnes on a two-year-deal.
Auckland-born Barnes, 23, who is Irish qualified after moving to the Emerald Isle aged 10, signed professional forms with the RaboDirect Pro12 outfit at the start of the 2011-12 season.
Barnes made his Munster debut on the wing in an 18-12 league victory at Connacht in April 2010 and has since gone on to make 34 appearances including six Heineken Cup outings.
Making his Heineken Cup bow in a 23-21 triumph over Northampton Saints at Thomond Park in November 2011, Barnes finished the season as the club’s second leading try scorer.
Representing Ireland Under-20s, Barnes has plied his trade alongside the likes of Ronan O’Gara, Peter Stringer and Paul O’Connell.
Speaking to the Falcons’ official website, Barnes said: “I am really excited at the prospect of joining Newcastle Falcons, a club that has serious ambitions of going all the way to the top.
“From talking to Dean Richards it is clear that he has big plans for the club, and after gaining promotion to the Aviva Premiership I am looking forward to testing myself on the big stage next season.”
Barnes is Richards’ seventh signing in the build-up to the 2013-14 campaign after Rory Clegg, Andy Saull, Phil Godman, Mike Blair, Scott Lawson and Fraser McKenzie all put pen to paper on two-year-deals.
“I have been keeping tabs on the Falcons website of late, and I have been impressed with the calibre of players that have signed for the club,” said Barnes.
He added: “Peter Stringer told me about how friendly and welcoming the North East is from his spell at the club last year, and that was another factor in my decision.”
Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards, said: “I am delighted that he has joined us, and he is a solid acquisition as we build for the new campaign.
“I have followed his career since his debut, and he has a bright future ahead of him.”