Ulster Rugby have signed Georgia prop Anton Peikrishvili
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 31/08/16 4:14pm
Ulster Rugby have signed Georgian tight-head prop Anton Peikrishvili in a bid to ease their front-row injury crisis.
Peikrishvili arrives on a short-term deal until December 19 and will provide some much needed cover after injuries to tight-heads Wiehahn Herbst, Ricky Lutton and Jonny Simpson.
Peikrishvili, 28, has represented Georgia internationally on 23 occasions and has played club rugby in the Top 14 in France since 2007.
The prop most recently represented Agen, and has had spells with Castres, Brive and Bayonne in France's top tier, as well as the Heineken Cup.
"It's a challenging period with Wiehahn Herbst, Ricky Lutton and Jonny Simpson currently unavailable due to injury, so it was important for us to explore what short-term options were open to us," said Ulster Director of Rugby Les Kiss.
The signing is a much needed boost for the Irish province, coming in the same week as they were informed that the IRFU would not sanction a transfer extension for Springbok scrum-half Ruan Pienaar.
Les Kiss welcomed Peikrishvili's arrival, thanking the IRFU for their assistance in the deal and stating Ulster's desire to give young academy props a chance, something the IRFU argued the province would not be doing with regard to academy scrum-halfs in the case of Pienaar.
"Bryn Cunningham [Operations Director] has moved with speed to recruit Anton and I would like to thank the IRFU for their expediency and flexibility in allowing us to bring in this support," Kiss added.
"During these discussions we shared our desire to give young Academy props, such as Ross Kane and Craig Trenier, opportunities to represent the senior squad.
"Anton is an experienced player who will provide us with extra cover in a very important position.
"The Georgians are traditionally very strong scrummagers and Anton is no different in this regard. For a big unit he is pretty mobile and he will be able to contribute around the park, which is important for the style of rugby we wish to play."