Exeter Chiefs have signed hooker Greg Bateman from London Welsh on a two-year deal.
The 24-year-old will bolster Chiefs coach Rob Baxter's options at hooker after the retirement of Simon Alcott and Neil Clark's departure of Top 14 newcomers Oyonnax.
"When we look at bringing in fresh players we look to bring in players that complement each other or add something different," said Baxter, who could also utilise Bateman as a prop if necessary.
"With Greg having a relatively recent conversion from tight-head prop - he's Premiership level in that position - what we see is a bigger guy with a big scrummaging background, but his biggest strength is his ball carrying.
"He's also got things to work on, he's aware of that, probably based around the movement patterns around the pitch we'd expect of him as a hooker and the extended work-rate we'd expect in comparison to a tight-head prop.
"We're looking at the positives of what he can add first and foremost and he's a guy who was bang on form at the end of a tough season for London Welsh. I think he'll fit in very well here.
"He started work on Wednesday and, like everyone else, he starts with a clean sheet, will get stuck in and we'll see what happens for him."
Bateman is Exeter's fifth new signing following Fetu'u Vainikolo, Dave Lewis, Tom James and Ceri Sweeney.