Gloucester have boosted their front-row resources after signing Italian international hooker Tommaso d'Apice.
The 24-year-old, who was previously with Aironi, made the Italy squad for Rugby World Cup 2011 where he made one appearance as a replacement against Russia.
His last appearance for the national side was in June of this year against the USA in Houston, a week after he scored his only international try against Canada in Toronto.
He has been training with Gloucester during pre-season in a bid to earn a contract, making friendly appearances against Leinster and Doncaster as well as featuring in the Aviva Premiership A League on Monday against the Worcester Cavaliers.
"Tommaso has been on trial here for just over a month now. He's an international hooker who has played for Italy in the Six Nations and in the World Cup," said Director of Rugby, Nigel Davies.
"The big thing for Tommaso is to get the opportunity to play at the highest level in English club rugby. He's a young aspiring player and wants to play for a team that can help to develop his game.
"He's committed a lot to coming here. He could probably have gone to other clubs for a lot more money but wanted to be part of this Gloucester team and we're delighted to have him on board."