The Hurricanes have boosted their front row resources by signing versatile All Blacks prop Ben Franks on a three-year deal.
The 28-year-old, who can play on both sides of the scrum, requested an early release from his contract with the Crusaders after falling behind Wyatt Crockett and brother Owen in the pecking order at the Christchurch-based franchise.
Franks confirmed the move before departing with the All Blacks to Argentina.
"This is a new and exciting opportunity for me. I am really looking forward to joining Mark [Hammett] and the team next year," he said.
Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett said: "Ben is a true professional in the game with a never give up attitude. On the field, he is uncompromising and hardworking."
Hammett believes that his strong relationship with Franks, who he mentored at the Crusaders, helped him secure the prop's signature ahead of the Highlanders and the Blues who were also chasing him.
"Ben is the person you need to talk to about that really, but I've had long association with him. I selected him first as a Super Rugby player.
"We're pretty similar-minded in that we like to have honest and open feedback. That's the type of coaching he likes. Ultimately that's what sort of swayed his decision."