GEORGIA international Jaba Bregvadze is ready to battle it out for the number two jersey at Worcester Warriors after joining the club ahead of their clash at Gloucester on Saturday.
Niall Annett has impressed at hooker in Warriors’ opening two Aviva Premiership matches and has held off competition from Dan George and Ben Sowrey.
However, director of rugby Dean Ryan has previously spoken of his desire to replace Argentina skipper Agustin Creevy who left to join his country’s Super Rugby side in the summer.
And the Warriors boss appears to have found his man as 28-year-old Bregvadze is expected to add experience to an otherwise young front row having played 32 times for Georgia and featured in two Rugby World Cups.
The powerhouse forward helped his nation to wins over Tonga and Namibia, while also impressing against Argentina as they finished third in their pool, booking them a place at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
And Ryan said his international pedigree will be key to pushing his side on and having already joined up with his new teammates could make his Warriors debut against Gloucester.
“Jaba is an experienced international who will add strength and depth to our front row,” Ryan said.
“We’ve been really impressed by his performances at the Rugby World Cup and are excited to be able add him to our squad.
“He will add more competition for the number two shirt while being able to drive standards of some of our younger players in what is a key area.”
For the past three seasons, Bregvadze has been competing in France’s Top 14 for Toulouse, where he was part of a side that finished in the top four in each of the last three campaigns.
But the 16st hooker, who made won his first cap for Georgia in 2008, said he was keen to make his mark in England’s top flight.
“Both myself and my family are very excited about the move to Worcester,” Bregvadze added.
“Having played in the Top 14 for a number of years, I’m keen to test and prove myself in the Aviva Premiership against some of the very best teams in Europe.
“Dean Ryan and the rest of the Warriors coaching staff are really building something here and I can’t wait to get started and play a big part in it.”