Cardiff Blues have completed the surprise signing of Moldova prop Dmitri Arhip.
The 29-year-old was expected to sign a lucrative £400,000-a-year deal with French side Montpellier before the deal collapsed.
Arhip will arrive at the Arms Park following five seasons with Ospreys, where he made 91 appearances.
“I’m really excited to be joining Cardiff Blues at a really positive time for the region,” said Arhip.
“I have been very impressed with the progress made at the Arms Park in the last couple of seasons, culminating in winning the Challenge Cup.”
It is the first significant signing for new Blues head coach John Mulvihill and a major boost to the Welsh region.
“He has proven himself a world-class tight-head prop both in terms of scrummaging and around the pitch and is the perfect fit for us,” said Mulvihill.
“We need to add quality and depth to our squad to compete in both the Guinness Pro14 and the Champions Cup and this is a great start to our recruitment.”
Arhip will compete for the number three jersey at the Arms Park with Dillon Lewis, who has returned from a series win in Argentina with Wales.
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