Newport Gwent Dragons have signed Colin Charvis on a one-year contract.
Charvis will return to Wales to play at Rodney Parade
The 84-cap former Wales captain, 33, was released by Newcastle at the end of last season and pondered retirement as he could not land a new contract.
But Michael Owen's shoulder injury left the Dragons short in the back-row, so Charvis has arrived at Rodney Parade.
Dragons coach Paul Turner said: "It was important that we secured the signing of a world-class forward and Colin fits that description."
Charvis has vast experience at international level, having also toured with the 2001 Lions.
He captained Newcastle and has also played a season for French club Tarbes after being overlooked for a contract when Wales switched from club to regional rugby.
Charvis started his career with London Welsh before joining Swansea in 1995, playing a key role in helping them claim Welsh League titles in 1998 and 2001, as well as the Welsh Cup in 1999.
"He is a big, strong forward and is a huge boost for the region. He is a proven leader and has a vast amount of experience," Turner added.
"It's a huge statement of intent and ambition. I've been talking to Colin over the last two months and I was impressed with his ambition both at regional and international level."
The Dragons have been boosted by the news that Wales second-row Luke Charteris will be fit for the kick off of the new season.
The lock injured his knee on Wales' summer tour to Argentina and the problem flared up in pre-season training, but a scan revealed no major damage.