Newcastle have announced the signing of Italy lock Carlo Del Fava.
The 30-year-old, who has won 54 caps for the Azzurri and appeared in the last two World Cups, joins the Falcons after his previous club Aironi had their licence revoked by the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) on financial grounds.
Del Fava, who has also had spells with Natal, Parma, Bourgoin, Ulster and Viadana, is the second lock to join Newcastle this week following the capture of Scotland international Scott MacLeod from Japanese club Kobe.
The Falcons are currently waiting to find out if they will retain their Aviva Premiership status.
The north-east club finished bottom of the table and will be relegated if London Welsh win the Championship play-off final and have their application to join the top-flight accepted.
But Del Fava believes the club have a bright future under new director of rugby Dean Richards.
He said: "Newcastle Falcons are a club that is on the up and I am really looking forward to the challenge of playing in England.
"There are some exciting times ahead for the club, further strengthened by the appointment of Dean Richards as director of rugby.
"I am delighted to have signed for a club with a bright future and my family and I look forward to making a new home in the north-east."