Former Wales Under 21lock Peter Sidoli has signed for Neath but the Welsh All Blacks are still awaiting international clearance to come through from Italy where the Merthyr product played last year for Calvisano.
The 29-year-old has been training with Neath for the last few weeks and has kept himself fit while sorting out the legal niceties in Italy.
Standing at 6'5" and weighing 18 stone, Sidoli will add considerable presence to a formidable Neath posse of second-rowers that includes last season's player of the year Euros Evans and Neil Edwards who both made a major impact in last year's Cup final win over Llanelli, the promising Haydn Pugh and former Osprey Michael Collins.
Director of Rugby Patrick Horgan said, "We are pleased to welcome Peter on board. He is an experienced player who will supplement our already strong pool of second rowers, three of whom have the versatility and mobility to play in the back row too. We are slowly but surely building up a squad with the depth we will need to compete on a heavy fixture-list."
"Once the Italian end of things is tied up - which should not take too long now - we look forward to seeing Peter in a Neath jersey again as we have some serious challenges ahead of us in September and beyond."
Neath chairman Geraint Hawkes said, "The signing of Peter Sidoli underlines our determination to make a real impact here at Neath this season. It is encouraging that a player with his top-level experience is keen to link with Neath and he will be a big asset to our squad."
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.