Northampton Saints have signed South Africa forward Heinrich Brussow for the second half of the season.
The 31-year-old flanker, who has 23 caps for the Springboks, will arrive at Franklin’s Gardens in January.
He has played Super Rugby for Cheetahs but has been with Docomo Red Hurricanes in Japan for the last two years.
“Heinrich has shown his class year in, year out, and we’re delighted that he has decided to join us,” said Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder.
“After the sudden departure of Louis Picamoles we have been looking for the right player to add to our squad, in terms of quality, experience and character, and we believe that Heinrich is the right person to bring to Franklin’s Gardens.”
Full details of Brussow’s contract with Saints have not been disclosed.
“The reputation of the Saints as a team speaks for itself and I want to play my best possible rugby and hopefully contribute to winning a few trophies,” he told the club website.
Meanwhile, Northampton’s England flanker Teimana Harrison has set his sights on making the number eight shirt his own.
The 25-year-old started at the back of the scrum in Saturday’s East Midlands derby win over Leicester.
And he believes he has the versatility to shine in the role left vacant by Louis Picamoles’ move to Montpellier.
“If you look back at all the games when I’ve played well, it’s usually been in the eight jersey, so I’ll be putting my hand up for that this season,” the New Zealand-born forward told BBC Radio Northampton.
“I think it’s the freedom of carrying. Seven is more defensive role in the modern game.
“I love defence, I love being physical but eight is the perfect mix – off scrums you are carrying, I’m always the ‘plus one’ off line-outs and carrying, but then again I defend off the tail of line-outs, so it uses my physicality, and for me it’s the perfect balance.”
Northampton return to action on Friday with a home game against Bath.