The only way is Newcastle for Essex boy Andy Saull with the former Saracens and England Saxons flanker enjoying a new lease of life on Tyneside.
And tough-tackling Saull, 24, admits he is already settling into his new surroundings in the North East aided by fellow Essex-born player Adam Powell, who joined the Falcons at the business end of last season.
“I have signed up to move into a house next to my old Saracens teammate Adam Powell, so it looks like the Essex boys are going for safety in numbers,” said Saull.
He added: “We are hoping to rival the Scottish clan when it comes to foreigners in Geordieland, but unfortunately they have more bodies than us at the moment.
“All joking aside, though, I love it up here, and it seems like a really friendly city. You jump in a cab and the driver tells you his life story. Everyone is so happy to take time and chat to you, and I have already made a lot of good mates outside of rugby in the few weeks I have been here.”
Penning a deal with the Falcons before Dean Richards’ troops had achieved promotion back to the Aviva Premiership, Saull reveals he was glued to the club’s Twitter feed during the RFU Championship decider whilst on holiday in Bermuda.
He said: “I was actually in a beach rugby tournament in Bermuda when the final was being played, and I was constantly checking Twitter to see what the score was in between our games.
“There were nervous moments throughout because all I could see were numbers, so I had no idea about the ebb and flow of the game in terms of who was dominating.
“A lot of my mates at Saracens were playing for Bedford, so I knew the quality they had and the ability to sting Newcastle. I had a couple of mates in the Falcons’ team in Noah Cato and Adam Powell, though, and according to them it was never in doubt!”
Now into a rigorous pre-season programme, the skilful open-side said: “All rugby teams that I have been part of have a similar atmosphere going on with the guys, and it has been a lot of fun so far. The coaching set-up here is unbelievable. They let you know what they want, and while there is that slight element of freedom you also know that the work needs to be done.
“There are regular skill sessions, even in the conditioning phase, and everything is going in the right direction.
“Obviously there are a lot of new guys and new calls, so it is a little bit scrappy, but that is what you would expect at this time of year when you are getting to know how people operate in a match scenario.”