The NSW Waratahs will add proven quality to their front row for the next three years, with Wallabies prop Sekope Kepu rejoining the franchise after a season of club rugby in France.
Kepu, 30, made 63 Test and 96 Super Rugby appearances between 2008 and 2015 before spending the past European season with French club Bordeaux Begles.
His last Test appearance was as a starter in the 2015 World Cup final, and he has been named in the Wallabies 39-man training squad for the Test series with England.
The Waratahs scrum has struggled this season without Kepu and injured Wallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau.
But it has shown signs of improvement more recently as emerging young prop Tom Robertson started to make an impact.
“I’m delighted that Keps is returning to Australia and happy to welcome him back to the Waratahs,” NSW head coach Daryl Gibson said.
“He will be a great addition to the squad and will strengthen our front-row options.
“I’m sure he would have grown from the experience in France, where there is a real scrum culture.
“It can only benefit our young props in Tom Robertson and Matt Sandell, as he helps grow and pass on his knowledge.”
Kepu’s signing from 2017 to 2019 adds to other recent positive personnel news for the Tahs, who are locked in a battle with the Brumbies for the Super Rugby Australian conference title.
Giant winger Taqele Naiyaravoro has rejoined from Scottish side Glasgow Warriors.
Wycliff Palu, Jed Holloway and exciting young outside back Andrew Kellaway have also agreed to terms for next season.