Hot-stepping winger Sinoti Sinoti will be thrilling Newcastle Falcons fans beyond the end of this season after the Samoan star agreed a contract extension to remain at Kingston Park Stadium.
The 32-year-old has become a cult hero on Tyneside by virtue of his tackle-busting prowess and trademark evasion, with defenders up and down the land struggling to lay a hand on the man who has made 62 appearances for the Falcons since joining in January 2014.
Scoring three tries in his nine Aviva Premiership appearances this season, Sinoti joins fellow wing icon Vereniki Goneva in agreeing a new contract, with the Pacific Islands pair regarded among the most deadly double acts in the division.
Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards laid clear his delight at retaining the services of Sinoti, saying: “He is a player who gets people out of their seats and puts fear into opposition defences.
“Sinoti has a unique skill set which our supporters love watching, he finds space where other people would not be able to and it’s a huge boost to the club that we are able to plan ahead with him as a key weapon in our armoury.”
The former Toulon, Aironi and Wellington winger greeted news of his new contract with similar enthusiasm, saying: “I’m pleased to have got it sorted and that I’ll be staying with the club.
“It wasn’t a decision I took lightly, I spent a lot of time speaking to my wife first and foremost, and my dad back in New Zealand, but staying just felt like the right thing to do.
“We absolutely love living in Newcastle, we’ve been here almost five years now and the area and the people are just amazing. It’s an easy city to get around, everything is on your doorstep and the Falcons as a club have been great to me. I just couldn’t see myself anywhere else, and from the moment I first landed in Newcastle I genuinely loved the place.
“We’re not the biggest club but there’s a real family feel. We could do with a bit of hot weather but it’s all good, and I’m fluent in Geordie now as well! I totally love the accent, it’s cool, and even if I can’t do it properly I always take the mickey out of the boys by doing my impersonation!”
Playing down his cult status, the modest Samoan international joked: “I came here as a nobody and I’ll probably leave as a nobody.
“We’ve had some tough times but it all comes down to the hard work that the staff are doing, and the determination of everyone here to really build something together. All the boys are buying into it, we had a better season last year and then we’ve built on it by adding a few new guys who are used to winning things. We have a better understanding of how we’re trying to play, what brand we want to implement and the results are starting to come. I’m just stoked to be doing what I love in a place that I love.
“Another thing that played a factor was the fans up here, and I think we’ve got one of the best crowds in the Premiership. Sure, we’re not the biggest, but by God we make a lot of noise. When you’re out there on the field you can really hear it from the stands, and they can see we’re trying to improve. It was definitely a consideration in staying and I can see only good things for this club.
“The competition here on the wings is incredible when you consider the likes of Niki Goneva, Alex Tait, DTH van der Merwe, Adam Radwan, Zach Kibirige, Beli Agulla and all the young guys pushing through.
“It’s pushing all of us, everyone of those guys offers something different and we know that if one of us goes down there’s top quality to step in. Competition is high, and myself and Niki are old mate so we’re just holding on!”
The Falcons travel to Harlequins in Saturday’s Aviva Premiership assignment, Sinoti hopeful of a first league win at the Twickenham Stoop since 2000.
“We’re really backing ourselves to go down there and win, we truly believe we will do it but also that they won’t make it easy for us,” he said.
Newcastle Falcons’ season ticket memberships for the 2018-19 campaign are already available, with the early bird deadline set for 5pm on Monday February 26. To book call 0871 226 6060.