Edinburgh Rugby have added more firepower to their front row with the signing of the versatile James Hilterbrand.
The 24-year-old forward turned out for Australian side Western Force against the British & Irish Lions in June will on a two-year deal.
Hilterbrand's move to Scotland will be Edinburgh's fifth raid on the southern hemisphere following the arrivals of Australian lock Oliver Atkins and New Zealander Grayson Hart, both from the New South Wales Waratahs, and Alex and Ben Toolis from Queensland grade side GSP Old Boys.
Tongan hooker Aleki Lutui and South African prop Wicus Blaauw have also arrived from Worcester and Biarritz respectively.
Alan Solomons, Edinburgh Rugby head coach, said: “James’ versatility will be very useful for us, especially when you consider the attritional nature of the front-row and immense physicality they must endure over the course of the season.
“His addition follows the recruitment of Wicus Blaauw last week and means we now have more depth and better competition for places in our front-row, with our young Scottish props learning from experienced campaigners.”
Hilterbrand has represented all of South Australia’s age-grade sides and the Australia national under-18 team playing across the front row.
He said: “I’m really excited about joining Edinburgh Rugby.
“I want to get a taste of Scottish rugby as soon as possible. I think this move is coming at the perfect time for me to learn from the best and keep progressing my footie.
“I hope to bring a different rugby perspective because of my different pathway into professional rugby. I’ll definitely bring a lot of energy and heaps of passion.
Like the second-row Toolis twins, Hilterbrand is also eligible to represent Scotland through his grandparents from Falkirk and Aberdeen.
Touching on his Scottish roots, Hilterbrand, said: “Unfortunately my grandparents have passed away now, but I know they’d both be very proud to see one of the grandsons living in Scotland and playing for one of the top club sides."
Despite confirming the signing today, the 18-stone prop will not join up with his team-mates until next month, subject to visa and a medical.