Former Leinster hooker Gavin Hickie has left London Irish to join the Exiles' Guinness Premiership rivals Worcester Warriors.
The 25-year-old, who has represented Ireland at Under-18, Under-19, Under-21 and 'A' levels, as well as captaining the Ireland Sevens team, has joined John Brain's side until the end of the season.
The Warriors are currently fifth in the Premiership standings, two places above London Irish.
Worcester director of rugby Brain said: "We have been looking at our options at hooker for some time following an injury to Andre Van Niekerk.
"In Gavin, we have a player of the right age, experience and quality to come in and increase the competition for places."
As well as South African 'A' hooker, Dubliner Hickie, who lined out 46 times for Leinster before signing for London Irish in September, has England 'A' hooker Chris Fortey for company at the Sixways Stadium.
Hickie made two appearances for London Irish's "A" side before forcing his way onto the bench for the Exiles' 25-23 Premiership defeat at Northampton last month. He failed, however, to earn any game-time as former Ireland Under-21 international Adrian Flavin played the full 80 minutes at Franklin's Gardens.
Worcester meet Connacht on December 10 and 17 next in back-to-back European Challenge Cup clashes, but Hickie will be ineligible for those Pool 5 fixtures.