NEWPORT Gwent Dragons have confirmed the signing of Brok Harris but the South African prop will not arrive at Rodney Parade until the autumn.
The 29-year-old, who can play both sides of the scrum but who has been signed primarily as a tighthead, arrives from the Stormers on a three-year deal.
The Dragons have struggled for a number of seasons in the set piece and last season tempted former England prop Duncan Bell out of retirement at the age of 39 to try and stop being march backwards.
Director of rugby Lyn Jones hopes that the signing of Harris, combined with the arrival of Leicester loosehead Boris Stankovich, can provide a platform.
“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.”
However, Harris won’t feature at the Dragons until October at the earliest while he fulfils his Currie Cup commitments with Western Province.
The front row forward missed the end of the Stormers’ Super Rugby season after undergoing shoulder surgery but is a fortnight away from a return to action.
Harris is the Dragons’ third signing of the summer on the right-hand side of the scrum following the arrivals of 29-year-old ex-Leicester and Gloucester prop Dave Young and 22-year-old Welsh-qualified Lloyd Fairbrother from Exeter.
The Dragons also have Dan Way and Alex Jeffries, a Wales Under-18 international who has already made 29 appearances for Newport at the age of 19, on their books.