Connacht have completed the signing of young prop Brett Sturgess from Guinness Premiership outfit Northampton Saints.
Sturgess has been brought in by the westerners' coach Michael Bradley after Ireland Under-21 international Ronan Loughney was forced to call a halt to his season due to a long-term knee injury.
Galway native Loughney, who has also been capped at Under-19 level, suffered a second cruciate knee ligament injury in a pre-season clash against Narbonne and will miss a large chunk of the season.
Connacht will hope the 24-year-old Sturgess, who came up through the ranks at Northampton, can slot in when required as their Magners League bid continues apace with six home games on the trot.
Bradley said: "Ronan's injury was unfortunate but he will bounce back and the signing of Brett will help us in that area."