18 May, 15:44
It's down to the wire now for the five contenders who have been shortlisted for the ultimate individual accolade in northern hemisphere rugby, ERC European Player of the Year 2013.
South African tight-head Ashley Wells and countryman Greg Goosen - a full back from La Rochelle; New Zealand duo Ryan Shortland and Richard Mayhew, and Samoa star Jamie Helleur have all joined the Falcons' ranks this summer.
And North Harbour flanker Mayhew says all five men are settling in well as the Falcons look to create an inclusive atmosphere that will help build sustained success.
"To be fair to all the overseas guys, we do mix in well," Mayhew, who is now one of six New Zealanders at the club, told the Newcastle Chronicle.
"From the fairly short time I have been here, there has been no evidence of cliques or anything like that.
"It is nice to have a few of the Kiwi boys around. However, on the same note, you have to try and stay away from it a bit because you do want to mix in with everybody else.
"It is good to have guys from different cultures all blending in with each other. The likes of our English prop Jonny Golding are even trying to drag me into the cold North Sea for a bit of surfing!"
And die-hard Falcons fans will be delighted to hear that Mayhew's only difficulties since arriving in Newcastle have been away from the pitch and the changing room as he struggles to come to terms with the famous Geordie accent.
"The language barrier has been one of the hardest things when I am out and about in town," added Mayhew.
"The women are the hardest to understand, I find, and it does take a bit of concentration to get what people are saying. When they talk fast I have absolutely no chance, but I am sure it will come in time."
While understanding the native tongue may be a work in progress for the newcomers, Helleur, a centre signed from Auckland, insists he has been more than impressed with the welcome he has received from the people of the North East.
Helleur, who is the star name among Newcastle's new signings, says the positive approach to life in the city has already rubbed off on him in the weeks since his arrival.
"The thing which has impressed me most is the fact I have not met one negative person at all," said Helleur.
"In the short time I have been here I have found the people to be really nice and friendly.
"I love the countryside, and it just seems like a great place to be with the way the players and the management have made me feel at home.
"Everybody has been very accommodating towards me, and I have been made to feel very much at home around the city and the club.
"I came into the changing room on my first day and the reception from the squad was superb. Every player shook my hand, and it was not just a quick hello. They were all keen to have a chat and to offer their help in anything I needed or was struggling with."