Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara is heading home after his stint in Japan, signing a two year deal with the club and New Zealand Rugby, while his Hurricanes team-mate Ngani Laumape is heading to France to play for Stade Francais in the Top 14.
Perenara has completed his sabbatical with Japanese club he NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes following their quarterfinal loss on the weekend and will return to New Zealand.
The 29-year-old said "My wife and I have decided to come back to the Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby for the next two and a half years. We're really excited at the journey …. really looking forward to seeing everyone back home and thanks to the Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby for allowing me the opportunity to come home and do what I love."
Chris Lendrum, NZR's General Manager Professional Rugby & Performance, said: "When TJ left for his short stint in Japan we said we'd welcome him home, so we're delighted that he has signed a contract with us through to 2023. He's been part of New Zealand rugby for more than a decade and I'm sure his Japanese experience has grown him as a person. We look forward to seeing him on his return."
Hurricanes CEO Avan Lee added: "We're delighted TJ is coming home. TJ is 100 percent committed to the 'Canes and what we want to achieve, so this is a really good day for our team, the organisation, our fans and our key stakeholders."
Perenara has played 69 Tests for the All Blacks since making his debut in 2014, scoring 14 tries. He is the most capped Hurricane of all time and has played 140 games for the Wellington-based team since making his Super Rugby debut in 2012. He won a Rugby World Cup with the All Blacks in 2015 and a Super Rugby title with the 'Canes in 2016.
While Perenara's return was expected, the departure of midfield back Laumape is a shock.
The 28 year old has played 15 times for the All Black but has never commanded a place in the national side.
He'll head to France at the conclusion of the trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition in July.
Laumape turned to rugby in 2016 after playing three seasons of rugby league with the Warriors.