EDINBURGH have further boosted their squad with the signing of front-row forward James Hilterbrand on a two-year deal from Super Rugby side Western Force.
The 24-year-old, who made a starting appearance against the British & Irish Lions during the summer, has already shown himself to be a versatile player with experience at hooker and both prop positions – and has represented all of South Australia’s age-grade sides as well as the national under-18 team.
During five seasons in Sydney with Manly Marlins, he bolstered what is now an 18-stone frame before he landed his first professional contract with Western Force.
Edinburgh Rugby head coach Alan Solomons said: “James’s versatility will be very useful for us, especially when you consider the attritional nature of the front-row and immense physicality they must endure over the course of the season.
“His addition follows the recruitment of Wicus Blaauw last week and means we now have more depth and better competition for places in our front-row, with our young Scottish props learning from experienced campaigners.”
Hilterbrand, who will arrive early next month, subject to visa and medical requirements, is eligible to represent Scotland through his grandmother, Doris, from Aberdeen, and grandfather, William Bain, from Falkirk, who played football for Aberdeen FC.
Hilterbrand said: “I’m really excited about joining Edinburgh. I think this move to Scottish rugby is coming at the perfect time for me to learn from the best and keep progressing my footie.
“I hope to bring a different rugby perspective because of my different pathway into professional rugby. I’ll bring a lot of energy and heaps of passion.
“Unfortunately my grandparents have passed away now, but I know they’d both be very proud to see one of the grandsons playing in Scotland.”