Edinburgh have handed 29-year-old Melrose prop Nick Beavon a one-year contract for next season.
Beavon made his Melrose debut aged 17 and had spells playing in Australia and New Zealand but the self-employed joiner admitted he thought his hopes of turning professional had passed him by.
However, he has been training with Edinburgh on a trial basis since January and impressed head coach Alan Solomons.
The tighthead said: “It’s massive to be signed at this stage in my career by Edinburgh.
“I never thought it was going to happen, I thought opportunities like this would have passed me by, then I got into the club international side two years ago for the first time. I still never thought anything would come of it as I was obviously older.
“However, after speaking to Alan, he reckons I’ve got a fair few years playing in me, that I’m reaching my prime as a tighthead.
“I don’t want this opportunity to pass me by so I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”
He added: “I was coming up to train two days a week and working the other three, to keep the money coming in. The people I’ve been sub-contracting have been really good, they obviously accept I’ve been given this opportunity and wish me all the best.”
Solomons said: “Nick was, similar to Rory Sutherland, brought in from the club game for a trial period. I am delighted that he has proved worthy of a professional contract and am sure that he will continue to develop and add depth in a vital position.
“He is a good bloke who has fitted in well and we look forward to him continuing his development with us.”
With John Andress returning to Munster at the end of the season, Beavon is the second tighthead secured as back-up to Scotland starter WP Nel for next season. Last week Kevin Bryce, who has switched to No 3 from hooker, confirmed he would join from Glasgow in the summer.