The Newport Gwent Dragons have further strengthened their pack by signing experienced Super Rugby prop Juan 'Brok' Harris.
The 29-year-old South African has penned a three-year-deal at Rodney Parade after becoming the cornerstone of the Stormers' scrum in his eight years at the franchise. Harris made 90 Super Rugby appearances for the Cape Town side and has represented Western Province 107 times.
The 6ft,18 stone front-rower can play on either side of the scrum but will not arrive in Newport until October - after he has fulfilled his Currie Cup commitments with Western Province. Dragons' Director of Rugby Lyn Jones has been keen to bolster his tight-five after they conceded a host of drive-over tries at the tail-end of last season.
"Following a particularly difficult period last season in the tighter areas of the game, we've been determined to ensure there is no repeat," he said. "Brok will offer the expertise and experience we need to help our young Gwent props grow into future Welsh international players."
Harris becomes the sixth recruit in the Dragons' front-row and will provide crucial experience alongside fellow tight-head new-boys Dave Young and Lloyd Fairbrother.He is the second South African to join the region following the arrival of giant Cheetah's lock Rynard Landman.
The new-look Newport region warm-up for the new Guiness PRO12 campaign with two friendly fixtures against English opposition. They travel to Ashton Gate for a match with big-spending Championship club Bristol on 17 August before welcoming the Northampton Saints to Ebbw Vale's Eugene Cross Park.
Former Wales full-back Lee Byrne has been named captain for the 2014/15 season and will lead the Men of Gwent out when they kick-off their GuinnessPRO12 campaign against Connacht at the Galway Sports Ground on the weekend of 6 September.
Gemma Rowland has had a 'whirlwind' start to her international career with Wales. Despite losing to France, she is confident Wales Women can bounce back and claim a rare Triple Crown against Ireland on Sunday, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
The Wales teams return home for the Irish leg of their Six Nations campaigns in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We speak to Wales attack coach Rob Howley and defence coach Shaun Edwards, as well as flanker Dan Lydiate and full back Leigh Halfpenny. We hear from Wales Women's back rower Sian Williams and Wales U20 forwards coach Chris Horsman and flanker Ollie Griffiths.
Wales look to build on victory in Paris in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton, as well as Wales Women's coach Rhys Edwards. We also hear from Wales U20 duo Dan Jones and Joe Davies, along with Wales U18s.
We look ahead to the French tests in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We look ahead to Wales France with Warren Gatland, Sam Warburton, Scott Baldwin, Rhys Webb and Jonathan Davies. Wales Women are the only team in red still unbeaten in this Six Nations, we speak to captain Rachel Taylor. Wales U20 are looking bounce back from defeat in Scotland, we hear from coach Jason Strange, captain Rory Thornton and front rower Dillon Lewis.
Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton look ahead to this week's crunch RBS 6 Nations tie against France, where the Wales skipper in particular is keen to make his mark, as Paris has proved a bleak place for him in the past.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
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