Newcastle Falcons have announced the signing of American forward pair David Tameilau and Nick Civetta for next season.
Back-row forward Tameilau, 26, has been capped four times by the USA national side this year and is renowned for his physical ball-carrying and hard-hitting defence.
Civetta, also 26, brings line-out ability, physicality and athleticism, with the ability to play at both lock and back-row.
Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “Both David and Nick fit the profile of what we are looking for in our forward pack for next season.
“David is a destructive runner who offers us something different in attack, and has the ability to put on some big defensive hits. He has masses of ability and I believe could go on to become a world-class player.
“Nick is a rounded forward who will add to our physical threat, and we look forward to working with both of them when they arrive for pre-season.”
Tameilau helped the USA to second place in the inaugural Americas Rugby Championship, starting at No 8 against Canada, Chile, Brazil and Uruguay.
The 6 foot 5, 19 stone 2 forward was a talented American football player before specialising in rugby, excelling at defensive end for San Francisco City College and West Texas A&M following the completion of his Mormon mission.
Brought up in a rugby-playing family, Tameilau represented the USA at Under-18s, 19s and 20s levels and has most recently been playing for San Francisco in the inaugural PRO Rugby competition.
Back-five forward Civetta joins from Italian Serie A club RC I Medicei, who are based in Florence, having previously played for fellow Italian sides SS Lazio and Viadana.
The 6 foot 8 New Yorker took up rugby at the age of 18 when he attended the University of Notre Dame, and has played three times for the USA Select after twice being named in the USA Rugby Collegiate All-American team.
The American pair take Newcastle’s summer player influx to nine, following the previously-announced arrivals of Vereniki Goneva (Leicester), Sam Egerton (England 7s), Joel Hodgson (Yorkshire Carnegie), Sam Lockwood (Jersey), Harrison Orr (Ealing), Evan Olmstead (London Scottish) and Ben Sowrey (Worcester).
Season ticket memberships for 2016-17 are on sale now by calling 0871 226 6060 or by clicking here , with under-11s season tickets free of charge.