Shota Horie is in line to become the first Japanese player to star in Super Rugby after the hooker agreed to join the Melbourne Rebels.
Horie, who played for the Cherry Blossoms at the World Cup, will make the historic move from the Panasonic Wild Knights.
And the 26-year-old, who could play for the Rebels in the season opener against the Western Force on February 15, said: "I am honoured to become a part of the Melbourne Rebels. I would like to contribute to the team's success as much as I can and also to prove the potential of Japanese players in Super Rugby.
"I appreciate the understanding and support to [be able to] provide me [with] this great opportunity from Panasonic. I will make the best effort to repay all the support I have had [from them]."
Rebels head coach Damien Hill, who previously having spent three years coaching in Japan, added: "The work ethic of all Japanese players is of the highest order, to have him as part of this club will have an immediate impact.
"Culture and values are a strong part of Japan, as they are here at the Rebels, and we are thrilled to have Shota on board.
"He comes with a point to prove, as do most of our players we bring from afar. That drive will be infectious, and will bring the best out of all the hookers at the club."
How will the Rebels get on next season?