Noah Cato and Ryan Shortland have committed their futures to Newcastle Falcons in the build-up to the 2013-14 Aviva Premiership season.
25-year-old Cato, who initially signed for the Falcons until the end of last season, has re-signed for a further two years, while Shortland, 27, has penned a one-year contract extension.
Cato made the switch to the North East from Northampton Saints last February, and the Brighton-born wing ace made an immediate impact for his new club, scoring a last gasp try on his debut to seal a 17-15 victory over Bedford Blues at Kingston Park.
The former England Saxon went on to cross the whitewash two more times, taking his try scoring tally up to three for the season.
Prior to joining the Saints in the summer of 2011, Cato enjoyed a four-year stint with Saracens where he picked up an Aviva Premiership winners’ medal and finished the club’s top try scorer in the 2008-09 season.
It was during his stay in the capital that Cato represented both the England Sevens and England Under-20s, and his six tries in five matches were key in helping England win an Under-20s Grand Slam in 2008.
“I am delighted to have committed to Newcastle Falcons, a club that is very much geared up for Aviva Premiership rugby,” said Cato.
“I was grateful to have the opportunity of playing regular first team rugby again at the back end of last season, and I am looking forward to the challenge of top level rugby,” he added.
Fellow speedster Shortland, extends his stay on Tyneside following an impressive season in which he scored six tries including a crucial touchdown in the RFU Championship Final second leg at home to Bedford.
Joining the Falcons from Otago ahead of the 2011-12 season, the ex-Melbourne Storm and New Zealand Warriors rugby league player is delighted to have committed to the northeasterners under the stewardship of director of rugby Dean Richards.
He said: “I really enjoyed the atmosphere around the club last season, and the positive vibe has continued throughout pre-season, and that is one of the reasons why I have decided to commit my future to Newcastle.
“We are now back into pre-season training and I cannot wait for the Aviva Premiership season to kick-off.
“There is a massive difference at the club now from when I joined a couple of seasons ago, and it is a great time to be at the club.
“It was good to set the platform last year, but it is now down to the crunch of producing the goods and performing at a higher level.”
Falcons boss Richards said: “It is very pleasing to have secured the services of both Noah and Ryan beyond last season, and after performing well last time out they will be hoping to kick-on in the Aviva Premiership.”