Biarritz Olympique have signed three new forwards to strengthen their squad as the season gets underway.
Joining the Basque club are flanker Pierre Som from Agen, Campbell Johnstone from Canterbury Crusaders and prop Nicolaas Pretorius from the South African side the Valke Falcons.
Johnstone, who made one appearance for the All Blacks has three Super 14 medals to him name and was brought in on a two year contract to replace Benoit Lecouls who joined French champions Toulouse earlier this season.
Pretorius is an experienced Currie Cup player and will travel to Biarritz at the end his team's Vodacom Cup campaign.
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.