USA international Eric Fry has become Newcastle Falcons’ sixth new signing for next season.
The 26-year-old prop has been capped 23 times by America, playing his club rugby in the English Championship for London Scottish for the past two seasons.
Fry joins the Falcons on a two-year deal, director of rugby Dean Richards insisting the 6ft 3 scrummager has the physical prowess to add to the Falcons’ game.
Richards said: “Eric is an accomplished prop on both sides of the scrum, but has played predominantly at loose-head this year.
“I think he is a fantastic athlete, and his workrate is exceptionally high.
“He is incredibly strong in the scrum, and will slot in for us on that loose-head side with the ability to slide across if needed.”
Fry played at tighthead in the USA team which defeated Uruguay 32-13 three weeks ago, scoring one of their four tries in a result which guaranteed their qualification for next year’s Rugby World Cup.
He joins a Falcons loosehead stable which already sees Rob Vickers having renewed on fresh terms, the converted hooker having been a revelation in the No 1 shirt since switching from the middle of the front-row.
Scotland A cap Grant Shiells will be out of contract at the end of the current campaign, the former Kelso man having made just three starts this season.
Countryman Gary Strain has covered loose-head from the bench despite not making a single start, while French veteran Franck Montanella is understood to have already left the club despite no official announcement having been made.
Fry is the fourth of Newcastle’s six summer signings to be coming from the Championship, joining Leeds lock Calum Green, Rotherham back Juan Pablo Socino and Bristol scrum-half Ruki Tipuna – Leicester hooker Rob Hawkins and Worcester No 8 Semisi Taulava the other additions.