Former All Black World Cup-winner and Hurricanes great Julian Savea has signed on with Moana Pasifika for the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season.
The 54-test international of Samoan heritage parted ways with the Hurricanes at the end of their 2023 campaign, bringing an end to a tenure that included 152 matches over 11 seasons in the capital.
The 33-year-old wing will now take his talents to the competition newcomers in an attempt to revive their fortunes after an abysmal season, where they finished bottom of the table with just a solitary win.
New coach Clark Laidlaw will take the reins with the Hurricanes next season, taking over from All Blacks-bound Jason Holland. Laidlaw's appointment coincided with Savea's exit, with the club unwilling to extend his contract.
Instead, he'll now play under new Moana Pasifika head coach Tana Umaga, who has taken over the role from the departing Aaron Mauger.
Savea had been widely expected to join the club, hunting at the move last week in a social media post bidding farewell to the Hurricanes, where he's finished as the franchise's most-capped player.
"It's been an absolute pleasure to represent this club and my home team over the past 11 years and I'm grateful for the brotherhood I formed over the years, the memories I have made, the knowledge I have learnt and milestones I've achieved at the Hurricanes," he wrote in an Instagram post.
"I know the legacy I have created here for myself is something I am very proud of and will cherish for the rest of my life. Not the departure I had planned or hoped for, but that's rugby for you and sometimes it's brutal."
"I still have plenty of more years in the tank. I will be joining another Super Rugby team and will be announcing that next week. Watch this space."
Renowned for his blend of power and pace, Savea scored 46 tries through his 56 tests for the All Blacks - placing him second to only Doug Howlett (49) on the team's all-time tryscorers list.
He crossed 61 times for the Hurricanes across two stints with the franchise, which were seperated broken up by a three-year spell with French Top 14 side Toulon.
Hailing from the villages of Siumu, Luatuanu'u, and Falesiu Uta in Samoa, Savea has garnered a large following in the Pacific since his professional rugby career began.