The Western Force have signed former Melbourne Rebels hooker Heath Tessmann on a short-term Super Rugby contract as injury cover for Ben Whittaker.
Whittaker, who is expected to battle it out with Nathan Charles for a regular starting role in the No.2 jersey, is expected to miss the early rounds of the season due to a broken foot.
Tessmann, 28, has been training with the Force throughout the pre-season, and will stay on the senior list until Whittaker has recovered.
The Queensland-born rake played 10 games for the Rebels during 2011 and 2012, and Force coach Michael Foley said Tessmann would provide good back-up.
"Heath is an experienced player and knows the demands of Super Rugby," Foley said.
"This is a good opportunity for him to push for a place in the team and further his Super Rugby experience."