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Newcastle Falcons fly-half Mike Delany has returned to his native New Zealand to sign for home province, Bay of Plenty.

The 35-year-old played 26 Aviva Premiership games for the Falcons in two seasons, having joined from French club Clermont

Delany said upon the announcement of his move: “My family and I had thought long and hard about when would be the right time to come back to New Zealand and when this opportunity came up with Bay of Plenty Rugby, it just felt like something we couldn’t pass up.

“We were fortunate enough that the Newcastle Falcons granted me early release, so after six seasons or so overseas I’m excited and motivated to return to play for the Bay. It is where I started and it is home for us.”

Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “We as a club would like to thank Mike for all of his efforts during his time with Newcastle, and wish him and his family all the best for their return to New Zealand.”

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