The Chiefs have announced they have signed prop Pauliasi Manu for next season to replace injured prop Josh Hohneck.
Hohneck badly damaged his ankle in a farming accident while drenching cattle. The extent of Hohneck's injury and the predicted rehabilitation length means he will not be fit to play Super Rugby for the 2013 season but plans to reappear in 2014.
Coach Dave Rennie said: "This is hugely disappointing for us and Josh. He's a top man and made a big impression on us last season. However we have found an excellent replacement in Pauliasi Manu."
Manu had initially signed with the Melbourne Rebels but through their medical processes was thought to have a previous neck condition.
Further investigations and multiple opinions by Manu's ITM Cup doctor and Chiefs' doctor James McGarvey and the NZRU medical director Dr Ian Murphy have cleared Pauliasi completely fit to play.
"After Josh's injury we were in the market for a prop and to get one with his experience was ideal for us," Rennie said.
"Different organisations have varying medical processes, but we are very comfortable with the high level of investigations that have taken place in New Zealand, including that of a spinal specialist which have all cleared Pauliasi fit."
Manu is a member of the Auckland ITM Cup team and played for the Blues in 2011 and 2012. He joins the Chiefs team for their first day together on Monday.