SALE SHARKS flanker Cameron Neild is joining Newcastle Falcons in the summer on a two-year deal as the club continues to build for the coming season.

The 29-year-old has played more than 130 times for his hometown club during a career which has also seen the abrasive back-rower featuring for Edinburgh, Glasgow and Worcester Warriors.

"Cam is a very good Premiership operator who has played over a century of games in the competition," said Falcons consultant director of rugby Steve Diamond, speaking about the forward who has represented England at Under-20s, 18s and 16s levels.

"I've had him at quite a few clubs now so he is obviously a player I rate very highly, and he's been unfortunate with some of the players he's been behind during that time.

"At Sale he had the Curry brothers and at Edinburgh and Glasgow he was vying with established internationals, but he's always given a great account of himself whenever he's been called upon.

"He brings a wealth of experience and he fits the mould of the players we're trying to bring in at the moment. He has that hard edge about him, he's not past his sell-by date and he's got that real work ethic which is a great fit as we look to move this Newcastle Falcons squad forward."

Relishing the prospect of his summer switch to Kingston Park, Neild said: “I’ve played against Newcastle a number of times, but one that always sticks in my mind was back in 2016 on the final day of the season when I went up to Kingston Park with Sale Sharks.

“We needed to win to get into the top six and qualify for the Champions Cup, which we narrowly did, but Nili Latu scored a hat-trick for Newcastle and they really took it to us up-front.

“It was one of those days where you think, ‘Wow, that was a proper game’, and I always associate Newcastle with that kind of bruising performance where they’re really dogged and niggly.

“It was a fond memory for me because Sale got the result and qualified for the Champions Cup, but I’ve always had a respect for the confrontational side of the game that Newcastle have. I’m sure with Dimes in charge they’ll be playing on that in a pretty big way, and I’m looking forward to getting involved up there.”

Expanding on his long association with Diamond, Neil added: “I respect Dimes highly as a coach and have got a great relationship with him, so the fact that he is in charge was a big draw for me.

“He’s a great man manager who is brilliant at recruitment, and he always improves teams wherever he goes. I know the Falcons will be in a better position for having him on board, and he’s someone who is very honest and straight-up with you.

“I’m pretty similar in that regard, and I see it as a good challenge to help Newcastle make some progress. It’s been a tough season for them but I want to be part of their improvement process, making a positive contribution wherever I can.

“In terms of what I’ll hope to add - I’m an attritional player who gets through a lot of the grunt work, and I pride myself on the abrasive side of the game. I’m probably a bit rough and ready, and I enjoy the physical aspects of rugby.”