Former All Black Cory Jane has confirmed he's heading to Japan but will be back to play for the Hurricanes next year.
Jane has signed a two-year contract with Toshiba in Tokyo.
He will head to Japan at the end of the Super Rugby season, where he will join former All Blacks Richard Kahui and Liam Messam as well as Chiefs number eight Michael Leitch.
"I'm looking forward to playing in Japan and to experiencing a new culture and taking on a new challenge," Jane said.
"It was important to me that I honoured the remaining year on my Hurricanes contract and of course that I was sure I was doing what was best for my family. To have achieved both of those things is great."
The move means the 33-year-old will miss the Wellington Lions national provincial competition.
"That was one of the tough parts about making my decision, knowing that I might not get the chance to pull on the Wellington jersey again," Jane said.
"Who knows, if my body is still willing, I might still get the chance to play for Wellington again in the future."
The 53-test All Black acknowledged he was unlikely to play for the All Blacks again, but still believed he has a lot to offer at Super Rugby level.
"I've really enjoyed this season and with my immediate future secure I can't wait to get stuck into the rest of the season, starting with the Blues on Saturday night."
Jane is one of only eight players to have played 100 matches for the Hurricanes and has scored 28 tries since his debut against the Reds in Brisbane in 2007.
He has played 65 times for the Wellington Lions and scored 25 tries since he made his provincial debut against Otago in 2003. He also represented Hawke's Bay during the 2004 season.
Meanwhile, All Blacks Dane Coles, Julian Savea, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett and Ardie Savea will all start in the Hurricanes side to play the Blues in Wellington on Saturday.
Other than lock Vaea Fifita, Boyd has named the same run-on 15 that played against the Highlanders in their last match before the June break.