Amlin Challenge Cup side Newcastle Falcons have received a double boost ahead of next weekend's European kick-off by securing an invaluable home draw against Worcester Warriors and the signing of South African lock Adriaan Fondse.
Hot on the heels of their 16-16 draw at Kingston Park, thanks to a try from replacement hooker Michael Mayhew three minutes from time, came the announcement that the club had secured the services of the Stormers and Western Province forward.
The Falcons are due to launch their Pool 2 Amlin Challenge Cup campaign with a home clash with newly promoted French side Lyon in Newcastle on Saturday.
Fondse becomes the fourth South African recruit at the north-east club and the 28-year-old will join former Stormers team mate Corne Uys, Greg Goosen and Ashley Wells in the squad.
"He is a great player who is really well respected in South Africa and we've sealed another top notch second row. He is a tremendous athlete," said Falcons coach Alan Tait.
"He gives us more options and will obviously increase competition. I'm sure the boys will be happy when they find out that he is joining the club.
"He takes the ball clean from line-outs and in that area he is spot on. We have to get our line-out right so that the backs can operate with quick clean ball.
"His defence and work-rate around the field is at a really high standard and he is up there with Tim Swinson. He's just another quality player."