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.
We hear from Dove Men's Player of the Series Dan Biggar in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We also speak to scrum half rivals Rhys Webb and Mike Phillips, the Swansea prop who will be a key player for Oxford in the Varsity Match at Twickenham, Ian Williams, plus John Dawes, John Taylor and Peter Morgan pay tribute to Ray Williams.
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