Former Northland halfback Tane Takulua has been rewarded for strong form in the Aviva Premiership with a new four-year deal with Newcastle Falcons.
Takulua began his professional career in Northland when he signed a development contract in 2012.
From there, the Tongan international made 25 appearances up until his departure following the conclusion of the 2015 season. Takulua scored seven tries in that time.
Takulua said he was excited by the new deal.
"I am very thankful to the club for showing their faith in me, and really happy that my family and I will be staying here. We all love living in Newcastle, the Falcons as a club has a really great culture and everyone is really excited about the new season," he said.
"I knew I was going into the last season of my contract and I was hoping the big boss wanted me to stay. I was glad to get it all sorted quickly and I know my wife and kids feel the same about life here.
"I feel like I've made progress every year I've been with the club, and I'm not about to stop. I want to keep pushing myself, keep challenging myself to the limit and never thinking I'm completely happy with my game. I want to make my family and the Falcons supporters proud, and that's my motivation."
The 26-year-old was one of the Falcons' standout performers last season, scoring six tries in his 13 Aviva Premiership appearances and kicking goals at a rate of 88 per cent, the second-highest in the division based on a minimum of 20 attempts.
He has played 23 tests for his native Tonga and was a member of the Mid Northern rugby side when playing in Northland.