Harlequins have announced that tighthead prop Matt Shields has signed with the Premiership club until the end of the season.
The 24-year-old from Mowden Park RFC in Darlington played for the Quins during the LV= Cup and also represented the A League team.
Originally from Cumbria, he progressed through the Newcastle Falcons Academy and signed for Nottingham in his final year, where he played for two years. He spent one season at Plymouth, before joining Darlington at the start of this season.
On making the announcement Harlequins Director of Rugby Conor O’Shea commented: "We are delighted to welcome Matt on board and see him as a player with real potential who we can really develop here.
"I would like to thank Danny Brown and everyone at Darlington Mowden Park who bring the meaning of putting the player first, to life. We could easily have looked at bringing in a journey man but we would prefer to look at the long term potential that the player has and we wanted to start that development process now rather than wait until the summer."
Shields added: "It’s a huge honour for me personally to join Harlequins. It’s a fantastic club with a great tradition and culture. I am looking forward to seeing this season out and building for next year working alongside Conor O’Shea, John Kingston, Tony Diprose and the other members of the coaching team to develop my game.
"It’s a fantastic opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it.
"I’d also like to thank Darlington for giving me the chance to pursue this opportunity early and for being so supportive during the process."