Gloucester have signed Italy tight-head prop Carlos Nieto from Viadana on a three-year deal which will start this summer.
The 29-year-old, who has been capped by his country nine times, will join his compatriot Marco Bortolami at the club.
With Phil Vickery emerging as a long-term injury worry, Nieto gives head coach Dean Ryan strength in his squad for next season.
"I am positive Carlos will be another great addition to our squad," Ryan told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk.
"He is a high-class addition to our forward pack in an area that needed strengthening because of Phil Vickery's untimely injury.
"I am motivated to sign players who I believe will bring us a new dimension and an extra edge to our game. I am sure Carlos, as an international who is getting better all the time, can do that.
"As a club we have got on with the business of planning for next season, and this signing reinforces that. Carlos is a major addition to our squad."
Nieto said: "This is a very exciting move for me, and I'm delighted to be joining a club of Gloucester's reputation.
"As their current position in the Guinness Premiership demonstrates, Gloucester already possess a very talented squad - and I look forward to giving them further options in the front row.
"I met with Dean Ryan recently and was very impressed with the set-up and the club's ambition. I believe Gloucester will be strong contenders for domestic and European honours in the next three years, and that's something I want to be part of.
"It's also nice to be moving to the same club as Marco (Bortolami), and I'm sure that together we can bring some Italian influence to Kingsholm."
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