We're working away on the player contracting process
The Highlanders have signed Tasman lock Joe Wheeler on a two-year contract.
Wheeler played four games for the Crusaders since debuting in 2010, but has lived in the shadow of Brad Thorn, Sam Whitelock and Luke Romano.
Wheeler will join his new franchise when the squad assembles in mid-December.
Born in Christchurch, the 23-year-old Wheeler also has 41 provincial caps with the Tasman Makos.
Wheeler is currently playing for Tasman in the NPC.
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph is looking forward to getting Wheeler into the Highlanders set-up, adding that he is going to fit well into their culture and his ability to cover loose forward gives them more options in the pack.
"Joe is a well-rounded player," Joseph said.
Highlanders General Manager Roger Clark said that Wheeler will be a welcome addition to the Highlanders 2013 squad.
"We're working away on the player contracting process at present, and it's pleasing to get a player of Joe's ability signed for the next two years," Clark said.