TOM PENNY has spoken of his delight at returning home – the 25-year-old centre signing a two-year deal with Newcastle Falcons ahead of their Gallagher Premiership return.

The Northumbrian is a product of the Falcons’ academy, and scored five tries in his 39 appearances for the club. He is returning to Kingston Park after spending the back end of last season with Harlequins.

He said: “It’s really good to be back. It hasn’t been that long, in reality, so everything is still familiar, but I’ve started back with the rest of the squad and it’s a great feeling.”

Director of rugby Dean Richards added: “Tom is a real talent who has enjoyed some high-level rugby during his brief time away. He knows our systems inside-out and he’s a local lad who plays the game with pace and aggression, so it was a no-brainer when we had the chance to bring him back into the fold.”

Penny believes the Falcons will be Premiership-ready when they return to the top flight on the weekend of November 20, the squad this week starting their official pre-season training programme.

“We’re in the good position of having a few months to get in a proper pre-season before the Premiership starts, and we’re now getting stuck into that,” he said.