Ovens has played in the Heineken Cup with Bath
Loosehead prop Laurence Ovens has joined Bedford Blues from Premiership side Newcastle Falcons.
The 24-year-old becomes the second number one to join the club in two weeks, after the signing of Robert Boot from London Welsh.
Blues director of rugby Mike Rayer told the club website: "Laurence's signing significantly adds further quality and depth to the squad.
"Competition for starting places is exactly what we want."
He added: "From what I've seen so far in training there are going to be some pretty intense battles for their respective jerseys."
We tried to sign Laurence last year before he moved to Newcastle so I am delighted that he has chosen to join us this season
Bedford Blues director of rugby Mike Rayer
Ovens started his career at Bath, where he played with current Blues pair Nick Walshe and Chris Goodman.
"Laurence has come to us with a glowing reference from Nick Walshe and Chris Goodman who both enjoyed playing with him when they were at Bath," added Rayer.
"We tried to sign Laurence last year on Nick's recommendation before he moved to Newcastle so I am delighted that he has chosen to join us this season."
After five years at Bath, Ovens moved to Newcastle at the beginning of last season, making 15 appearances and scoring two tries.
He, and the club's other new signings, will get their first run-out of the pre-season in a home friendly against Northampton Saints on Friday, 13 August.