Eight test All Black Isaac Ross has returned to New Zealand, and will don the Tasman Mako jersey for the remainder of the Mitre 10 Cup season.
The lock makes the trip over from Japan following his stint in the Top League with NTT Communications Shining Arcs, whom he joined in 2011.
The Mako announced the news on their Facebook page, citing a mix of All Blacks selection and injuries as the reasoning behind the move. Tasman locks Pari Pari Parkinson and Quentin Strange are both sidelined with injuries.
Ross' time in Japan came to an abrupt end due to an odd citizenship rule in the Top League. Anyone who played for another international side and gained citizenship after August 31, 2016 is not deemed Japanese by the league.
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A quota of two international players that applied to teams then consequently saw the Shining Arcs elect not to renew Ross' contract.
His eight All Blacks appearances came in 2009 following a breakout season in the then Super 14 with the Crusaders. He crossed for two international tries coming against Italy and South Africa.
But the likes of Ali Williams, Brad Thorn, Sam Whitelock, Tom Donnelly and Jarrad Hoeata played well enough to keep the now 35-year-old out of the squad in 2010 and 2011 prior to his move offshore.
Ross also enjoyed short periods with the Highlanders in 2008 and the Chiefs in 2011. To this point, he has spent his entire NPC career with Canterbury.
He could appear in Tasman's next game which comes against Bay of Plenty this Sunday in Nelson - a clash that is beginning to look a little more winnable for the Steamers following the Mako's shock loss to North Harbour last weekend.
Regardless, the Mako remain the favourites to go back-to-back in the Premiership, currently sitting top of the table after four games.