Llanelli Scarlets have moved to replace Wales scrum-half Dwayne Peel by signing Tonga international Sililo Martens from Sale Sharks - the club Peel is due to join in the summer.
The Scarlets have also captured the signature of tough tackling Welsh centre Rob Higgitt from Bristol. He and Martens will arrive at Stradey Park at the end of the season.
Martens previously played in Wales for Swansea, Bridgend and the Celtic Warriors before heading to England while Higgitt rose up the ranks at Bristol.
Thirty-year-old Martens told Llanelli’s website: “With everything that is happening off the pitch with the Scarlets at the moment, this is an exciting time to be part of the region’s future plans.
“I would like to wish Peely all the best in his move to Sale. I know I’ve got huge boots to fill at the Scarlets but anyone that knows me will know that I am always up for a challenge.”
Ruthin-born Higgitt is the highest capped centre in Bristol’s league history having played 107 games for the club.
“The move to the Scarlets is an exciting time for me,” explained the 26-year-old Higgitt.
“This is a great opportunity for me as there are some big name players with the Scarlets. It’s going to be tough just getting in the side such is the competition for places but I am looking forward to the challenge.”
Scarlets chief executive Stuart Gallacher said: “We have made these signings as early as possible to reinforce the strength in depth within the squad. Both have gained considerable experience in the English Premiership.”
Scarlets director of rugby Phil Davies added: “Sililo Martens is the type of halfback who will add significant experience and competitiveness to the squad.
“Rob Higgitt is a North Walian plying his trade in Bristol and he will add a ball carrying presence in the heart of midfield and he also possesses great defensive qualities.”