Newcastle number eight Phil Dowson has signed a new two-year contract, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2008-09 season.
Dowson made his first-team debut in the 2001-02 season
Dowson has been out of action since October with a bicep injury, but is close to a first-team return.
"He's integral to our plans, and having him here for the next two seasons is fantastic news," said Falcons director of rugby John Fletcher.
The 25-year-old has made 70 appearances for the Falcons.
"He was showing exceptional form up until his injury earlier this season, and was very much in the England reckoning after going on the Churchill Cup tour in 2005," added Fletcher.
"The manner in which he has fought back from two very long injuries shows just what sort of character he possesses, and we look forward to having him back in action in the next few weeks.
I now have the next two years at the club to make up for lost time
"He has matured both as a person and a player, and is increasingly becoming a senior member of the squad.
"With a run of games behind him at the end of this season he will be very much in contention for England Saxons recognition this summer, and I would not be at all surprised if that led to further honours in the near future."
Dowson added: "It has been a tough two years with a couple of serious injuries, but I'm back in full training now and looking forward to getting out on to the pitch again.
"I have a huge hunger to perform for the Falcons, and these past two seasons have only served to heighten that.
"I now have the next two years at the club to make up for lost time, and to repay everyone who has shown such faith in me."
In 2005, Dowson underwent a pioneering operation which involved fitting an artificial disc in his neck after he suffered a prolapsed disc.