FIJI fly-half Waisea Luveniyali has landed on Tyneside to become Newcastle Falcons' tenth signing of a busy summer.
The Journal revealed back in May that the 26-year-old was bound for Kingston Park and, after a two-month wait to secure the necessary visas and permits, the versatile back is now finally on board.
He touched down in the North East yesterday to join a club showing plenty of changes from last season, both on and off the field.
Also able to feature at full-back and centre, the arrival of the World Cup star will only intensify the growing speculation that Kiwi utility man Jeremy Manning could be set for pastures new.
Luveniyali, capped 16 times, is no stranger to English rugby after spells at Harlequins and London Welsh.
Originally plucked from domestic Fijian rugby by then Quins boss Dean Richards, he will once again find himself under the tutelage of the former England and Lions No 8 when Richards begins his reign at Kingston Park on August 17.
A busy weekend for the club will also see the arrival of new head coach Peter Russell, with the Kiwi set to land tomorrow.
The ex-Hawke's Bay boss has been stuck in his native Napier for the past month awaiting the arrival of his work permit, but with that now sorted another key piece of the club's jigsaw has slotted nicely into place.
Russell has been in regular contact with the Falcons' coaching team via Skype during the interim, and is well up to speed on planning and preparation for their championship challenge following last season's relegation.
Already their player signings are into double figures, although the coming weeks are more likely to see bodies going out rather than coming in as they look to trim the excess from a jam-packed player pool.
The club are yet to formally announce the departure of South African lock Adriaan Fondse, although The Journal understands that the former Western Province and Stormers man is no longer around as he prepares for a move to Italy.
Among Newcastle's headline signings are Scotland pair Scott MacLeod and Rory Lawson, Italy lock Carlo del Fava and Tane Tu'ipulotu, who is back from a season in Japan.
Worcester prop Oliver Tomaszczyk has returned to the club where he was an academy player, with England Under-18s tight-head Scott Wilson also on board after graduating from Sedbergh School.
Centre pair Alex Crockett and Andy Higgins add experience to the midfield, while Richards will have another familiar face in his squad with the arrival of ex-Harlequins back-rower Chris York.
Crucially retaining their key players despite dropping down a division, star men like Jimmy Gopperth will be instrumental in their bid to bounce back at the first attempt.
Gopperth said: "Being totally honest I don't actually know too much about the championship, so I will be going in with my eyes wide open and fully respecting the teams we will be playing against. The main thing is to concentrate on our own game, and I suppose in a way it will be quite humbling going around the clubs and seeing a lot of the grass roots of English rugby.
"It is going to be hard and we are under no illusions about that. We are not getting ahead of ourselves and thinking it will be a walk in the park, the championship is a professional competition and the guys are there to earn their corn."
Widely tipped as overwhelming favourites, he added: "We know that every single game we play is going to be a cup final for the opposition.
"I have been in that situation before with other teams, and it is tough when people are gunning for you. If you take your foot off the accelerator for one second you are gone, and we know we can't relax."