Ex-Wallabies winger Digby Ioane says the chance to play for one of the pace-setting New Zealand Super Rugby team was too good to miss.
The 31-year-old Ioane has signed a two-year deal with seven-times champions the Crusaders.
Kiwi-born and Australia-raised, Ioane already has 86 Super Rugby caps to his name, having played for the Western Force in 2006 and 2007 and then the Queensland Reds from 2008-2013.
He earned 35 caps for Australia, playing his last Test against the Lions in 2013.
Ioane has since played two seasons with Stade Francais in France, and is about to begin his second season with the Honda Heat in Japan.
“I’ve had a great time playing in France and Japan, but the opportunity to be part of a New Zealand Super Rugby team is too good to pass up,” Ioane said.
“I love the intensity and tempo of Super Rugby and the New Zealand teams are leading the charge in that respect at the moment, so I can’t wait to be a part of that.”
Scott Robertson, who takes over from Todd Blackadder at the coaching helm of the Crusaders next season, says Ioane is a key signing.
“Digby is a massive talent, who we believe still has plenty of top class playing years left in him,” Robertson said.
“Digby is in the best condition of his life right now and we’re excited about what he can do for this team, with his remarkable ability to create opportunities and score tries.
“We also know he’ll make a huge contribution off the field, with his energy, great character and good humour.”