Edinburgh Rugby have signed 31-year-old British and Irish Lion Andy Titterrell on a one year deal.
The five-times capped former Leeds Carnegie skipper has been brought in as cover for injured hooker Steven Lawrie, who has been sidelined with a knee injury since December.
Lawrie, who signed a two-year contract extension with the club last month, is expected to be absent at the start of the season, with head coach Michael Bradley bringing in the 2006 English Premiership winner to restore the club’s depth in the position.
Titterrell will compete with fellow Lion and Scotland captain Ross Ford and young prospect Alun Walker, who recently graduated from the club’s elite development player programme.
Edinburgh Rugby head coach, Michael Bradley, said: “We’re very happy to have secured the services of such an experienced campaigner.
“Andy [Titterall] has competed at the highest level for club and country and will offer an exciting option at number two to Ross Ford while we continue to bring on young Alun Walker.
“We’re disappointed for Steven [Lawrie] as he had a fantastic start to last season however this appointment means we keep our strength in a crucial position for the start of the season and through the EMC Tests in autumn when Ross is on Scotland duty.”
Titterrell worked with Edinburgh Rugby’s forwards’ coach, Neil Back, at Leeds Carnegie, and played club rugby at Saracens, Waterloo and Gloucester before moving to Leeds where made 40 appearances in two-and-a-half years.
His final season included a loan spell back at Sale Sharks, before he requested to end his term at Leeds a season early to pursue a return to the top tier of northern hemisphere rugby.
He said: "I’m absolutely delighted with the opportunity to represent a club like Edinburgh Rugby in the RaboDirect PRO12, a league packed with some of the most successful teams in the last decade of European rugby, and also the Heineken Cup, as we seek to build on the club’s great run in the competition last season.
“We’ve some big pre-season matches coming up against English opposition who I know well so my focus is really honed in on getting to the know the guys in the squad, settling into the training routine at Murrayfield, and using these matches as a springboard to a big year with the club.”