Newcastle have appointed All Black prop Carl Hayman as their new captain following Phil Dowson's decision to join Northampton.
Hayman, 29, joined the Falcons on a big-money contract in 2007 and will take over the leadership of the team for the 2009-10 campaign.
He said: "It's a privilege to be asked to captain a great club like Newcastle Falcons through such an exciting chapter in its history, especially as a relative newcomer to the north-east."
Falcons director of rugby Steve Bates said: "Carl is someone who commands instant respect right throughout world rugby, and is the natural choice to lead us next season.
"He quite rightly has a fearsome reputation as a player, and is the sort of character who will drive up standards right across the board.
"Carl is a very unassuming guy who leads more by example than anything else, but he will say what needs to be said, and will be supported by the outstanding group of senior players we have within our squad."