After a few years in the wilderness, Aaron Cruden has come back home.

The 50-test All Blacks first five-eighth has signed on for another stint with the Chiefs, signing with the club on a one-year deal.

Cruden, 30, returns to the club from French side Montpelier, having already played in more than 80 matches for the Hamilton club between 2012 and 2017.

The team's new head coach Warren Gatland said he was excited to welcome Cruden back.


"As a player he has a proven ability to create opportunities with his boot and can spark up an attack from anywhere on the park. We are fortunate and privileged to have him return and I will look forward to coaching him in the coming season."

Cruden's signing likely signals the end of the Chiefs' No10 experiment, with Damian McKenzie set to return to fullback.

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Cruden returns with fond memories of the club, and was a key director of their back-to-back Super Rugby titles in 2012 and 2013.

His was the second major signing announced by a New Zealand franchise for the upcoming Super Rugby season, with English representative centre Joe Marchant agreeing to join the Blues.

Marchant joins the Auckland club on a sabbatical from parent club Harlequins, and was expected to help fill the gaping hole in the side's lineup left by the departures of Ma'a Nonu and Sonny Bill Williams.