South Africa international Heinrich Brussow will join Northampton Saints in January, a move director of rugby Jim Mallinder believes can fill a void left by Louis Picamoles' exit.
Brussow, a 31-year-old flanker, has made 23 appearances for the Springboks, the most recent of which came against Argentina during the 2015 Rugby Championship.
Between 2013 and 2015 he played jointly for Cheetahs in Super Rugby and Japanese side Docomo Red Hurricanes, but after two years playing solely for the latter he is ready to move on.
Mallinder believes Brussow's experience will be a huge boost to Saints, having lost France international Picamoles to Montpellier after just one season at Franklin's Gardens.
"Heinrich has shown his class year in, year out, and we're delighted that he has decided to join us," said Mallinder.
"He has plenty of experience and our younger players will learn a lot from him, especially from his play at the breakdown.
"After the sudden departure of Louis Picamoles we have been looking for the right player to add to our squad, both in terms of quality, experience and character, and we believe that Heinrich is the right person to bring to Franklin's Gardens."
Brussow added: "After five seasons in Japan, my wife and I feel it is time for a new challenge. I feel humbled to be afforded the opportunity to join a club with such a rich history and traditions.
"Franklin's Gardens is one of those special places you hear some of the best players in the world talk about and the thought of representing a team like Northampton Saints is something that excites me immensely."