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Three-cap Paul Mullen has been signed to the Newcastle Falcons on a four-month trial contract. The Irish-born, American-educated scrum specialist played sparingly for the Houston Sabercats during the inaugural MLR season, but he follows Paul Lasike, Bryce Campbell and Ben Landry in the move from the budding American league to overseas.
"Paul has broken through to the full international scene in quite a big way over the past few months, and been part of a rapidly-improving American Eagles side," said Newcastle boss Dean Richards.
"His presence will further bolster our front-row resources going into the new Gallagher Premiership season as we look to improve yet again on what was our best league finish for 20 years."
Mullen played sparingly for the Sabercats during the regular season due to some awkwardness surrounding his visa. Having recently finished off his Masters in Marine Resources Management, Mullen was still in the United States on a student visa, meaning he couldn't legally work for the Sabercats. He played voluntarily thorughout the preseason, but the league deemed him ineligible for much of the season until his call-up with the Eagles. Once he was allowed to suit up for the Sabercats, he did enough to earn all-first-team honors.
Mullen started all three June tests for the Eagles at tighthead, helping the USA to 8-0 on the year and a historical upset of Scotland in Houston. Mullen is a product of the Munster age-grade system, and he booted up for the USA first as Junior All-American in 2011.