Newport Gwent Dragons on Friday revealed the signing of back row forward Hywel Stoddart on a one-year contract for the 2012/2013 season.
The 26-year-old Stoddart, younger brother of Wales and Scarlets wing Morgan Stoddart, played for Newport RFC last season in the Principality Premiership but will now join up with the Dragons senior squad ahead of the new campaign.
Stoddart has previously been involved in the Dragons squad. During the 2011/2012 season he was called in as back row cover during the Six Nations and twice made the match day squad. He was an unused substitute in the home win over the Cardiff Blues in March, a week before making his debut as a substitute against Edinburgh at Murrayfield.
On his elevation to the Dragons' senior squad Stoddart said: "I got called up to the bench a couple of times last season, first against the Blues and then got on to the pitch against Edinburgh and both were a great experience for me. I'm just really pleased that I am getting the chance to do it full time now.
"Obviously there is a very competitive back row here but I hope to challenge for a place in the match day squad, get some game time and impress when I get the chance."
Dragons Director of Rugby Rob Beale was also happy with the arrival of Stoddart.
"Hywel showed, when he trained with us last season, that he has the potential to make an impact in the side so we are pleased that he has agreed to join us for this campaign.
"He adds further strength in depth to our back row resources and I am sure it will be a very competitive battle for selection throughout the season in those positions."