Nehe Milner-Skudder has turned down an offer to return to the Hurricanes in favour of a contract with the Highlanders.
The Manawatu wing burst onto the Super Rugby scene in 2015, helping the Hurricanes to the grand final and earning a place in the All Blacks 2015 World Cup squad.
Milner-Skudder scored six tries at the tournament – including one in the final against Australia – and was named World Rugby's Breakthrough Player of the Year.
Unfortunately the versatile speedster has been hampered by a frustrating run of injuries in the time since and played just five more test matches for New Zealand.
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He signed with Toulon in December 2018 with a view to joining the French club following the 2019 Super Rugby season.
But a recurring shoulder injury and the onset of Covid-19 has prevented that from happening.
"We had a contract offer in front of him, but he decided he wanted to go to the Highlanders," said Hurricanes coach Jason Holland.
"He had a look at all the plusses and minuses of both sides and he decided it was best for Nehe Milner-Skudder to be at the Highlanders.
"That was Skudz's call and he had to do what was best for him," said Holland.
New Zealand's five Super Rugby sides will reassemble next week to begin preparations for Super Rugby Aotearoa.
The Highlanders will host the Chiefs to open the competition on Saturday June 13. Milner-Skudder's first chance to face his former side will come on July 12 in Wellington.