Hawke's Bay Magpies have signed All Blacks Sevens star Kurt Baker.
Baker, who has become a cult figure on the World Sevens circuit, winning fans with his charisma and commitment, will be seen as a wing or fullback option, with the ability to provide midfield cover.
"I'm really excited to be a part of the Hawke's Bay squad and cannot wait to play and compete for a starting spot in the team," said Baker.
The 31-year-old was keen to move to Hawke's Bay and join family based in Napier.
His father Archie is a business partner in the Waterbar in Ahuriri.
"My family are here in the Bay as well, and that is an added bonus to be here.''
Magpies coach Mark Ozich is thrilled to have secured the services of the former Highlander and Maori All Black.
Baker has significant experience at provincial level, with 57 games for Taranaki and 22 for Manawatu.
"He'll add significant depth, experience and a competitive edge."
Ozich was also looking forward to calling on Baker's experience to help the younger squad members.
"Kurt's traits will add to the dynamic of the team and our young backs will have some additional stability and guidance from a world-class player."
Baker has chosen to play for Altherm Window Solutions Napier Technical for the rest of the Maddison Trophy competition, and has connections to several players in the side.
Hawke's Bay Rugby chief executive Jay Campbell said Baker was a proven performer on the big stage.
"We look forward to him adding positively to the Magpies' culture, and I am sure with his style of play, he will quickly become a fan favourite."