Scott Lawson believes Newcastle Falcons can flourish in the Aviva Premiership next term after seeing his side bring in no fewer than nine new signings.
Lawson, who was named in Vern Cotter’s Scotland squad to tour North America yesterday, is enthused by the revolution taking shape on Tyneside.
Italy international lock Josh Furno is the latest acquisition, with the set-piece specialist snapped up last week just days after Falcons boss Dean Richards secured the services of Tuilagi brothers Alesana and Anitalea.
“Last season was all about Premiership survival, but we were still disappointed with how we ended the season,” said the 32-year-old.
“Having said that, the club has recruited a number of top quality players for next season which bodes well for the future of rugby in the North East.
“It’s an exciting time for the club and it will be great to get back into pre-season at Kingston Park,” he added.
In the meantime the experienced hooker will lock horns with the USA and Canada on 7 June and 14 June respectively as Scotland build towards the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
And after enjoying a solid Six Nations campaign, Lawson is delighted to add to his 43 caps, saying: “On a personal level I was in decent form throughout the competition, but unfortunately as a squad we struggled to get any consistency.
“In some ways it was similar to my season with Newcastle, but with a new set-up in place there is a sense of optimism that we can have a good summer tour.”
Scotland coach Cotter said: “I’m very much looking forward to starting work with the Scotland players as we begin our 16-match countdown to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
“Working with Scott Johnson and the national coaches, we've selected, effectively, two squads for our itinerary this summer taking into account Glasgow Warriors' pursuit of Pro12 silverware and the fact that our match against South Africa falls out with the IRB Regulation 9 window.”