NEWCASTLE FALCONS have signed Lyon prop forward Sami Mavinga and Jersey Reds flanker Gary Graham as they firm up their plans for next season.

Prop Jon Welsh and centre Chris Harris have also signed new contracts at Kingston Park as Dean Richards settles on his squad for the 2017-18 Aviva Premiership campaign.

Falcons were alerted to French prop Mavinga when they took on Lyon in this season’s European Challenge Cup, while Jersey back-rower Graham is the son of former Newcastle prop George.

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“Sami is a player who stood out for Lyon during their two Challenge Cup games against us this season,” said Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards. “That put him on our radar, and from there it has been a case of watching more of him in action and getting a fuller picture of what Sami can offer.

“Gary is a tenacious forward whose physicality has impressed us. He has been a very consistent performer for Jersey in the Championship, he defends well, is strong over the ball and with the skill-set he possesses, he can add to what is already a very competitive area of our squad.”