Hurricanes lock Sam Lousi has signed with Welsh rugby club Scarlets for next season, opening the door for the 27-year-old to commit his international future to Tonga.
The former Waratahs Super Rugby and New Zealand Warriors rugby league forward is currently sidelined with what is expected to be a season-ending pectoral injury.
"I am very excited to join the Scarlets for next season," he told the Scarlets website.
"It is a team that plays an exciting brand of rugby and I am looking forward to linking up with a group of players that are ambitious to be winning trophies.
"Hopefully, I can help them push forward and achieve further success over the next few years."
Scarlets general manager of rugby Jon Daniels said Lousi was a great addition to their squad, which includes Wales Grand Slam heroes Jonathan Davies, Ken Owens and Rob Evans, and former Crusaders winger Johnny McNicholl.
"He is a strong, aggressive ball carrier and also possesses the handling skills that fits in with our style of rugby at the Scarlets," Daniels said.
"He has played in a lot of high-profile matches for the Hurricanes and was an ever-present last season. We look forward to welcoming him on board."
Sam Lousi is the younger brother of Tonga rugby league international Sione Lousi.
'Ikale Tahi rugby coach Toutai Kefu has previously said he was keen to see Lousi represent the Kingdom at this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.