JON Golding has spurned the advances of a host of Premiership rivals by pledging his future to Newcastle Falcons.
The 28-year-old prop has signed a new two-year deal to stay at Kingston Park, despite speculation linking him with a move away from his native North East.
Sale Sharks were understood to be among the front-runners to snap up the loose-head, who toured Australia with the full England squad last summer.
But after protracted contract talks, the Ashington-born forward finally put pen to paper yesterday, much to the relief of Falcons bosses.
The news comes just four days before Newcastle’s survival scrap at Headingley as they take on bottom side Leeds Carnegie, with the former Leicester and Northampton man joining the likes of club captain James Hudson and full-back Jeremy Manning in agreeing new deals.
Another key forward to sign on the dotted line last week was Tim Swinson, with the 24-year-old flanker revealing the reasons why he, too, had spurned strong interest from fellow Premiership sides.
“I wouldn’t say it was a difficult decision, but it also wasn’t an easy one because you’re basically choosing which direction you want your life to go,” said Swinson, having agreed a one-year extension.
“Loyalty to the club was a massive factor for me – both to the people I’m playing with and the management. I’m playing with my friends up here.
“I’m in a group of good players and I really don’t feel as if this is it for the Falcons – where we are at the moment.
“We can still go forward, and I want to be part of that.”