Gloucester have confirmed the signing of Leinster Rugby centre Brendan Macken on loan until the end of the season.
The Cherry and Whites are currently missing a number of backs due to injury and international duty, notably the likes of Rob Cook, Shane Monahan and Henry Trinder who have been sidelined for extended periods of time.
Cook has been absent since mid November, while Trinder is set to undergo surgery next week on a knee injury suffered in the early stages of his comeback game against London Welsh last Saturday.
With the transfer deadline rapidly approaching, director of rugby David Humphreys therefore moved quickly to bring in some additional cover with the signing of Macken.
The 23-year-old is a product of the Leinster Academy and Blackrock College. He has represented Ireland at U20 level and also played for Emerging Ireland.
Since making his debut at Glasgow Warriors in the 2009-10 season, Macken has gone on to make 46 appearances for Leinster, scoring six tries in the process.
"We are currently without a number of backs for various reasons, and we have a number of important fixtures coming up in the remaining weeks of the season," said Humphreys.
"The deadline for registering players was on Friday so, with Henry Trinder unfortunately getting injured against London Welsh last weekend, we made the decision to bring in an extra centre as soon as possible.
"I know Brendan very well from my Pro12 days. He is a talented young player who will bring both pace and a physical presence to the midfield. He will arrive in the next couple of days and start training next week.
"Brendan will be a very useful addition to the squad over the next few months, and we're very grateful to Leinster for their support in allowing him to join us on loan."