Beauden Barrett has become the latest in a long history of big name signings for the Blues, agreeing to a four-year deal with the Auckland club.
New Zealand Rugby confirmed the news this morning, with Barrett's new contract taking him through to 2023. Like a number of other All Blacks who have re-signed this year, Barrett has an option to take a short playing break in Japan some time over the next four years, with any break to be negotiated with NZR and the Blues.
Barrett, 28, will take an extended break away from the game after the 2019 Rugby World Cup and will link up with the Blues midway through the 2020 Super Rugby season.
He takes on the new moniker of hopeful Blues' saviour after nine seasons with the Hurricanes in which he led the Wellington franchise to five playoff appearances and their first Super Rugby title in 2016.
"This is obviously a massive decision for me and my wife Hannah and we're really looking forward to the next chapter of our lives," Barrett said.
"The Hurricanes will always be a huge part of who I am. The Hurricanes environment and style of rugby they play has helped me become the player I am today, and I'll be leaving some very good mates.
"Wellington has been my rugby base for many years and university base for Hannah and we'll always have fond memories of living there. Home for us now is Taranaki and Auckland and home and family are immensely important to both of us.
"I'm also enthusiastic about the new challenge I'll get with the Blues over the next four years. They're a team on the rise, I like the way they play and I'm really looking forward to being a part of that.
"While I'm looking forward to what the future holds, right now my focus is on the international season ahead with the All Blacks."
NZR chief executive Steve Tew said the significance of Barrett's decision could not be underestimated.
"We are absolutely delighted that Beauden has committed to four more years with New Zealand Rugby. He joins a strong core of experienced test players who are now with us leading into the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
"There is no doubting how important he is to the All Blacks and every team he plays for. As well as his on-field achievements, including back-to-back World Rugby Player of the Year awards in 2016-2017, he has also amassed numerous records, including being fourth on the All Blacks Test points-scoring list. He is now a genuine leader in any team he plays and a strong contributor to our off-field responsibilities.
"We all look forward to seeing him back in black for the international season and also wish him all the best with his move to the Blues next year."