Former All Blacks wing Julian Savea will make a sensational return to the Hurricanes for the rest of the Super Rugby Aotearoa season, after agreeing to terms to join them for their final two games.
Hurricanes coach Jason Holland confirmed the signing during a media conference on Monday saying Savea is coming in as a replacement for Ben Lam, who played his 50th and final match in Saturday’s win over the Crusaders and is off to join French club Bordeaux.
"Savea will add some experience to the team," says Holland. 'He's been working hard.
"I'm looking forward to seeing what he can add to our environment."
Savea last played for the Hurricanes in 2018, before joining French club Toulon where he scored nine tries in 41 appearances.
"Looking forward to rejoining my brothers down at the @Hurricanesrugby for the remainder of the season," Savea wrote on Twitter.
"Blessed to get this opportunity and very grateful. Back to my where it all started."
Holland said it is unlikely Savea will feature in the Hurricanes' next match against the Chiefs on August 8, but could place against the Highlanders a week later.
Savea has been based in Auckland since returning to New Zealand, but hasn't played any club matches.
In May, Savea announced he was returning to New Zealand after parting ways with the Toulon, which is based in southern France.
Savea described his time in France as "not a pretty one", although "the highs definitely outweigh the lows".
"Thank you to those who have supported me over the past two seasons here at RCT," he wrote on Instagram at the time. "I will forever be thankful for this experience and my time in Toulon.
"Very bittersweet moment not getting to end the season the way I wanted to, but also very excited for this next journey ahead of me. I want to thank all my brothers that I've played with over the past two seasons, you guys are very special to me and I've made some lifelong friendships I will cherish forever.
"I want to thank @rctofficiel, the coaching staff and the management for always being good to us. It's been a long journey and not a pretty one either, but the highs definitely outweigh the lows."
During his first stint at the Hurricanes, Savea played 116 games and was part of the 2016 Super Rugby title-winning side.
The Hurricanes are third on the Super Rugby Aotearoa standings, one point behind the second-placed Blues and three behind the table-topping Crusaders, who have a game in hand.
The Hurricanes have their second bye week before finishing the season with games against the Chiefs and Highlanders.
Join us next weekend for live updates of Super Rugby Aotearoa