Championship club Nottingham have pulled off a major coup by signing New Zealand international lock Ali Williams on a short-term deal.
Williams, who has 61 All Black Test caps, has been given clearance by the New Zealand Rugby Union to begin his comeback from an Achilles injury at Meadow Lane.
The 29-year-old has barely played in the last two years but he will turn out for Nottingham in up to four of their five games in January.
Williams will then return home to play for the Auckland Blues in the Super 15 and push for a place in the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup squad.
"I am excited to return to play and very grateful that Nottingham has given me this chance. I can't wait to put my boots on and hit the paddock," he said.
Nottingham have three league fixtures in January - against Moseley, Bristol and Bedford - and British Cup games at home to Munster and Melrose.
Williams will join a strong Kiwi contingent at Nottingham, including director of rugby Glenn Delaney, assistant coach Ben Herring, club captain Craig Hammond and the Championship's leading point-scorer James Arlidge.
Delaney said: "We are delighted to help Ali get back to playing after serious injury.
"Having a player of his calibre and experience at the club will be a huge benefit to the players and I am sure the supporters will be excited to have a world class player in their team."
Nottingham are currently sixth in the Championship.