New Zealand prop Ben Franks has joined the Hurricanes on a three-year deal after leaving the Crusaders.
The deal also makes provision for Franks, who can play either side of the scrum, to play his ITM Cup rugby for Hawkes Bay.
The 28-year-old's move away from the Crusaders comes as no surprise after 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 chasing Franks' services but Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett believes his strong 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 Hurricanes' front row stocks which also include Reg Goodes at loosehead and Ben May and Jeff Toomaga-Allen at tighthead.