The Crusaders see Ben Volavola, a 24-year-old not wanted by the Waratahs, as the answer to their exodus at first-five.

With Dan Carter, Colin Slade and Tom Taylor leaving for overseas clubs at the end of the season, the Crusaders have been forced on an international search for a new No10.

They have settled on Volavola, a tall and skilful player said to be a good goalkicker.

It's understood the Crusaders had to fight off competition from the Reds for Volavola, who also had the option of playing in Europe.

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He was born in Sydney and has Fijian heritage and the Crusaders will hope to release Volavola's potential as they have blockbusting wing Nemani Nadolo, a Fijian-born player not wanted by the Reds in Brisbane.

Nadolo drifted from France to England then Japan before he was spotted by Crusaders assistant Tabai Matson, who convinced Todd Blackadder to sign him. Nadolo, 27, a wing who weighs about 125kg, was Super Rugby's leading try-scorer last year alongside Israel Folau, with 12 tries in 14 matches.

Matson, who moves from defence coach to attack next year, is likely to have had a big say in the signing.

The Crusaders want cover for Volavola and Canterbury's Richie Mo'unga, a 21-year-old yet to make his Super Rugby debut.

Simon Hickey from the Blues might be an option. Hickey was John Kirwan's preferred option at one stage last season before the late arrival of Ihaia West and signing for this season of Dan Bowden, both of whom will be at the Blues next year.

Volavola, who played for Australia under-20s, joined the Waratahs in 2013 and played eight matches under coach Michael Cheika but hasn't been selected since.

At 1.91m tall and about 93kg, Volavola is likely to be the tallest back in the Crusaders' line-up next year apart from Nadolo, who is 1.94m.