Wasps have signed Georgian international front rower Zurabi Zhvania, RugbyPass can exclusively reveal.
The 26-year-old arrives in Coventry after six seasons with French Top 14 side Stade Francais.
He moved to France from Georgian club Aia Kutaisi as a 19-year-old in 2011, and has since made 100 senior appearances for the Paris-based Top 14 outfit.
During the 125kg loosehead’s time at the Stade Jean Bouin his club lifted the domestic title in 2015 and won the European Challenge Cup two years later.
Zhavania made his international debut in 2013, since when he has won 34 caps and scored ten tries as part of Georgia’s renowned powerhouse pack.
He will become the fifth Georgian to appear in the Premiership, and the third front-row forward following Sale’s Shavla Mamukashvili and Worcester hooker Jaba Bregvadze.
“We have been tracking Zura for a couple of seasons and are really pleased to finally get him on board”, Director of rugby David Young said.
“He is an experienced player despite still being in his mid-20’s, who I expect to bring plenty to our front row.
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“The timing of this is also good, since both Matt Mullan and Simon McIntyre are currently recuperating from long-term injuries.
“We look forward to his arrival in Coventry and to working with him in the months ahead.”
Zurabi Zhavania is looking forward to testing himself in the Premiership.
“I’m hugely excited to be joining Wasps and playing in the English Premiership over the next few seasons”, he said.
“I have big ambitions in the game and I believe I can achieve these with Wasps both at Premiership and European level.
“They play a very attractive style of rugby which I believe suits my game and will bring out the best in me.
“It’s great to have former International prop as director of rugby and this can only be of benefit to my development.
“My family and I are very much looking forward to moving to the UK and I can’t wait to get started.”
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