Munster have announced the signing of South African prop BJ Botha from Magners League rivals Ulster on a two-year deal at the end of the season.
The 2007 World Cup-winning tighthead is set to fill the gap left by the departure of Tony Buckley to Sale Sharks and the expected retirement of John Hayes.
The decision to stay in Europe rather than return to South Africa is likely to damage Botha's chances of making South Africa's squad for their World Cup defence in New Zealand later in the year.
Botha played Super 14 with the Sharks and has been capped 26 times by South Africa. He last played for the Springboks against Australia in Brisbane in the Tri-Nations last July.
"We are delighted that BJ Botha has opted to join Munster," said Munster coach Tony McGahan.
"He is a player of the highest calibre who we believe will add significantly to our squad."
The deal is subject to Botha, 31, passing a medical and securing a work permit.