All Blacks prop Ben Franks has joined the Hurricanes on a three-year deal after leaving the Crusaders, who he has played for since 2006.
The deal also makes provision for Franks, who can play either side of the scrum, to play his ITM Cup rugby for Hawke's Bay.
The 28-year-old's move away from the Crusaders is not a surprise as he requested a release a year early after falling behind Wyatt Crockett and brother Owen in the pecking order at the Christchurch-based franchise.
The Highlanders and the Blues were also after Franks' services but Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett believes his good relationship with the front-row, who he worked with during his stint as assistant coach at the Crusaders, convinced him to join the Wellington outfit.
"Ben is the person you need to talk to about that really, but I've had long association with him," Hammett told Sportal.
"I selected him first as a Super Rugby player.
"We're pretty similar-minded in that we like to have honest and open feedback. That's the type of coaching he likes. Ultimately that's what sort of swayed his decision."
Franks' recruitment bolsters the the Hurricanes' front-row stocks which also include Reg Goodes at loosehead and Ben May and Jeff Toomaga-Allen at tighthead.
Hammett is excited about working with Franks again and is convinced he will also help with the development of the franchise's youngsters.
"He's going to bring a lot of leadership. He's extremely professional, particularly around condition and strength training," he said.
"(The young players) are going to learn a lot off him.
"He was here over the time the All Blacks were here and he helped run a clinic for some of the Wellington boys.
"He actually showed during those sessions just how outstanding a coach he is, along with his No.1 focus of being a player.
"He's a very determined guy. I don't think there are any other players going who have developed themselves into front rowers and professional rugby players.
"Both of the brothers are not naturally guys who are 120kg. They've had to build themselves through nutrition and strength training.
"They are incredibly diligent about going out and finding their own methods to get big, strong and fast. They've had stints in America. They are ones out of the box, those two boys.
"To me, they are guys who are not only going to succeed but they also have techniques that are going to rub off really well with the young, lesser experienced players we've got."
Meanwhile, Hammett also confirmed that promising scrum-half TJ Perenara has signed a new two-year contract extension with the franchise.
"TJ had a really good year and probably exceeded our expectations," he explained.
"He's a young guy. His challenge is to carry on where he left off and improve. Like all of us, there's still plenty of work to do."