Nottinghamshire have moved quickly to coverfor Ryan Sidebottom's international call-up by signing former England A bowlerSimon Francis until the end of the season.

The 28-year-old right-arm fast-mediumbowler has gone straight into the Notts squad for their Friends ProvidentTrophy meeting with Derbyshire on Bank Holiday Monday after a successful trialperiod.

Director of Cricket Mick Newell said: "Weonly had six seamers on the staff at the start of the season and with RyanSidebottom playing for England and AJ Harris injured, we couldn't operate withjust four quick bowlers.

"Simon is an experienced bowler who hasbowled well for us in the Second XI this year and will give us cover in an areawhere we are thin.

"He can slot straight into the team ifnecessary and there's every chance he will play on Monday."

Francis began his career at Hampshirebefore moving to Somerset in 2002. He toured Malaysia and India with England Ain 2003-04 but only made three Championship appearances in 2006 before beingreleased at the end of last season.

He was working in sales and marketing for amarquee company over the winter before getting the trial at Trent Bridge inpre-season.

He said: "After being released by SomersetI had to make plans for life away from cricket and it made me appreciate howlucky professional cricketers are.

"I didn't want to get to the age of 33 andwish I had given county cricket one more go and my love for cricket has beenreinvigorated in the last four months.

"I'm determined to make the most of thisopportunity but I've got no expectations beyond mucking in with the squad anddoing my very best for Notts over the rest of the season."

Francis has 135 first-class wickets at anaverage of 40.89, and 77 wickets in limited-overs cricket at 34.33.

Injury news:
Francis is part of a 13-man squad for thematch with Derbyshire, with his greater experience of the white ball preferredto Footitt.
Jason Gallian makes way for Fleming at thetop of the order.

Fleming (capt), Shafayat, Wagh, Hussey,Patel, Read (wkt), Ealham, Swann, Clough, Ferley, Shreck, Francis, Franks.