Pertemps Bees have beaten off competition from local rivals Coventry to sign former England prop Rob Hardwick from Guinness Premiership side London Irish.
Hardwick was linked with a move to Coventry, his home-town club, after he was released by London Irish at his own request but talks broke down last week.
Hardwick has signed a short-term contract with Pertemps Bees and will be available for the last seven National One games, starting with the trip to Cornish Pirates on March 5.
Hardwick won his only cap as a replacement against Italy in November 1996 but was named as an unused replacement for three more internationals, including two in Argentina in the summer of 1997.
He left Coventry in 1998 and, apart from a season in France with La Rochelle in 1999-2000, has been a cornerstone of the Exiles' pack ever since.
Although Hardwick has signed only a short-term contract with Pertemps Bees he could be offered a longer deal if he impresses in his two months at Sharmans Cross Road.