Hooker Bryan Byrne has joined Bristol Bears on a one-year deal after impressing during a short-term loan spell at the club.
The 26-year-old made one Gallagher Premiership appearance for the Bears before the suspension of the season and re-joins the club with immediate effect.
Byrne made 47 appearances during his time with Irish PRO14 side, Leinster, scoring 12 tries.
“Bryan made a very positive impression during his short time with us earlier in the season, and we’re delighted to have signed him on a permanent basis,” said Director of Rugby, Pat Lam.
“Bryan has a lot of top-level experience, including in the Champions Cup. To play nearly 50 times for a club like Leinster is a huge achievement and shows his pedigree.
“His signing further bolsters our depth and competition, joining Harry Thacker, Will Capon and George Kloska in the hooker position.”
Byrne added: “I thoroughly enjoyed my short spell at Bristol, and I’m delighted to be joining the club on a permanent basis.
“Everybody at the club was so welcoming during my time in the city – there’s a fantastic togetherness here. It’s great to be back and to be part of the journey moving forward.
“I’m looking forward to working with Pat and the rest of the coaching team and helping contribute towards the club’s vision.”