NORTHWICH have acted quickly to recruit a replacement after discovering centre James Underhill will be ruled out by injury for the rest of the season.

Scott Davidson has completed a transfer from North One West rivals Firwood Waterloo and is expected to make his debut for Blacks when they visit leaders Carlisle on Saturday afternoon.

He is in only his second campaign as a union player after a career spanning two decades playing rugby league.

“Scott has had an impact already,” said Martin Poste, director of rugby at Northwich.

“He trained with us on Thursday and fitted in straightaway.

“It’s clear too that freshening things up has given everybody else a lift and there was a noticeable increase in intensity out on the paddock.”

Davidson has already played at Moss Farm this season during a narrow 23-20 reverse for Waterloo in November that featured a decisive try for Richard Dale with seconds on the clock.

Curiously, he was also sent off during the teams’ meeting at Blundellsands last season.

However that didn’t put off Poste, who told the Guardian he had hoped to sign the inside centre during the summer.

He added: “We made overtures, but he wanted to stay loyal to Waterloo where he had friends.

“As soon as we got an inkling that he would be open to a move we made it happen.

“His skillset is different to guys like Undies and Jimmy Reilly who have filled that role so well for us.

“But he’s a humble, down to earth guy whose attitude is perfect for us.”

Underhill suffered a fracture to his jaw and lost a tooth after absorbing a heavy impact during last weekend’s brilliant Cheshire RFU Vase semi-finals success at Sandbach.

He had surgery at Aintree University Hospital earlier this week and won’t be available again this term.

Poste said: “We’re gutted because we love him.

“He’s a popular player, and an important one.”