Cecil Duckworth's plundering of the most valuable jewels in world rugby will continue today when Australian superstar Chris Latham signs for Worcester Warriors.
Having already tempted wing sensation Rico Gear to Sixways - and received immediate dividends when last Saturday the former All Black marked his second game by scoring four tries against GRAN Parma - Duckworth has pulled off his second major coup in six months by securing a player regarded as by far the best full back in the game.
Duckworth, Worcester's chairman and long standing sugar daddy, has also brought Gear's international team-mates Sam Tuitupou and Greg Rawlinson to a club desperate to establish itself as a Premiership force.
Latham has agreed a two-year deal, with the option of a third year, that will start next season and potentially keep him at Sixways Stadium until the end of the 2010/2011 campaign.
The Wallaby legend currently stands as the second highest try scorer in Australian history and played in every match at this year's World Cup, scoring five tries to take his total to 40 tries and 200 points in 78 games for his country.
The 32-year-old started his career with the New South Wales Waratahs before moving to Queensland in 1998 and has since been awarded the Australia Super 12 player of the year award on four occasions in 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
He made his international debut for Australia against France in 1998 and represented the Wallabies in the last three World Cups during which time he has built a reputation as one of the most devastating attackers in the game.
The prospect of him linking up with Gear, Tuitupou, Thinus Delport and Loki Crichton is little short of mouthwatering and underlines Duckworth's commitment to backing Mike Ruddock's efforts at expanding Warriors' gameplan.
The added bonus is that Latham's English wife means that he will not be classed as an overseas player and will, therefore, be eligible to form what will be one of the most star-studded back divisions in the league.
Ruddock replaced John Brain as director of rugby at the end of last season and has struggled to mould what is essentially the same squad into a more exciting and incisive force.
But after two massive European Challenge Cup victories over Italians Parma and debuts for Tuitupou and Gear things appear to be looking up for Rud-dock, who takes his team to London Irish at the weekend in search of a first league win.
Assuming that comes sooner rather than later and Worcester can do enough to remain in the top flight, Latham will arrive in the Midlands in June - to Ruddock's great and understandable excitement.
"We're absolutely delighted that Chris Latham, the world's best full back, has decided to join us at Worcester Warriors," said Ruddock. "Chris has gained experience with New South Wales and Queensland Reds and was awarded the Australian Super 12 player of the year on three occasions, he has a fantastic rugby pedigree.
"His form in the 2007 Rugby World Cup was incredibly impressive and convinced me that he still has the ability, drive and ambition to continue to play top-class rugby for the next three years. We are obviously pleased that a player of his stature and talent has decided to play here at Sixways for Warriors.
"There is no doubt that the vision of Cecil Duckworth and our recent recruitment success helped to persuade Chris Latham we are the club he wants to play for."
Latham has enjoyed a glittering career and was awarded the 2006 John Eales Medal - for the best Australian player - and in 2006 was nominated by the International Rugby Board for player of the year.
He has already impressed on English soil in the past as the star of the Northern Hemisphere versus Southern Hemisphere Tsunami Relief match held at Twickenham in March 2005 in which he scored three tries.
For his part Latham maintains he is ready for a new challenge, having excelled in the Super 14. "My family and I are really looking forward to moving to Worcester, I am very excited about playing in the Premiership for the Warriors," said Latham.
"I have enjoyed a wonderful decade of rugby with the Queensland Reds and the Wallabies. At this stage of my life and career, I feel it the right time for both my family and I to experience new things and to give myself fresh and challenging goals, as I know I am yet to play my best rugby.
"I have tracked the progress of the Warriors and I'm excited by the plans for the club both on and off the field in the coming years and the vision of Cecil Duckworth and Mike Ruddock.
"I spoke to Mike on a number of occasions before making this decision and have been hugely impressed by how professional the club is, the style in which he wants his team to play and the way he feels I can have a big impact in that.
"This opportunity at Warriors gives me the chance to set new and challenging goals. A major motivation to play at the highest level still burns and I plan to play a key role in the success of the Warriors side challenging for honours in both English and European competitions."