South Africa captain John Smit will join Saracens in October after the conclusion of the World Cup. The 33-year-old is the most capped captain and forward in Springbok history, having featured in 102 Tests.
The hooker played for South African Super Rugby outfit Sharks this season, helping them to the quarter-finals.
"I am delighted to have signed for a club widely renowned for their ferocious work ethic and spirit on the field," Smit said. "It is becoming a very special rugby club, combining a cast-iron commitment to develop young English players with a clear South African flavour.
"I'm looking forward to rejoining former team-mates like Deon Carstens and Brad Barritt, and also to working with players like Jamie George, last year's England under-20 hooker."
Meanwhile, Sale Sharks have appointed former Wasps director of rugby Tony Hanks as first-team coach. The 40-year-old, who left Wasps in February, will look after the side's attack, game plan and defence. Hanks has also spent spells with Waikato and Super 14 side the Chiefs. Sale director of sport Steve Diamond said: "He is the final piece of the off-field jigsaw and we are delighted he has chosen to join us."
Hanks added: "With so many players joining to form a much-changed team, it's a great time to be involved and I share the massive sense of anticipation at the club."
Meanwhile Jonathan Thomas, Andy Powell and Richie Rees have been omitted from Wales' World Cup training preparations.
The three will not be making the trip to Poland on Saturday with the rest of coach Warren Gatland's squad for the last of two 10-day training camps.
Ken Owens, Lou Reed and Andrew Bishop will also be left behind. But Stephen Jones, who missed the first training camp for the birth of his first child, will be travelling.