Cape Town - The Bulls have reportedly boosted their slim lock stocks with England international Charlie Ewels.
According to a report by The Times UK newspaper's website, which was published on Tuesday night, Ewels was keen to join an overseas team to get some much-needed game-time before the Test season starts in July ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
The 27-year-old is a stalwart at Bath, where former Springbok assistant coach Johann van Graan is in charge.
But Ewels sustained a serious ACL knee injury on England duty in Australia last June, and has not played since.
The Times report stated that Bath had already used their salary cap allocation this season, and have allowed Ewels to play overseas until he returns to the club in July.
Ewels - who stands at 1.97m and weighs around 112kg - was in contact with the Stormers, but the URC champions "could not find enough money to enable a work visa for a loan move", The Times report stated.
He also considered going to play for an Australian side in the Super Rugby Pacific competition.
But he is apparently already in Pretoria on a short-term deal, and could make his Bulls debut in Friday's Currie Cup clash against the Sharks in Durban (3pm kickoff).
The Bulls have yet to comment on Ewels' arrival, but director of rugby Jake White is scheduled to announce the starting line-up for the Sharks game on Thursday.
The Bulls URC team will also play this weekend, against Italian club Zebre, at Ellis Park on Saturday (1pm), which will be part of a double-header with the Lions, who will face Irish giants Leinster afterwards (4pm).
An excellent lineout jumper with a high work-rate in defence, Ewels could conceivably feature in the Bulls URC team at some stage as well.
Ewels, who has 30 Test caps to his name, will hope to have done enough over the next few months to impress England coach Steve Borthwick in order to make the cut for the World Cup in France in September - having missed out on selection for the 2019 tournament in Japan.