The former All Black first-five Aaron Cruden has confirmed he will leave the Hurricanes to join the Chiefs their 2012 Super Rugby campaign.
The 22-year-old Manawatu pivot captained the New Zealand under 20 side that won the IRB Junior World Championship title in 2009 when he was IRB Junior Player of the Year.
He made his Super Rugby debut in 2010 for the Hurricanes in a pre-season match against the Brumbies and was named in the 2010 All Blacks squad.
Cruden says leaving the Hurricanes was the hardest decision he's ever had to make and cited his long standing relationship with Manawatu and incoming Chiefs coach Dave Rennie.
The Manawatu lock Michael Fitzgerald has also confirmed his move to the Chiefs and will look to debut for the side in the 2012 competition.
The race is now on to secure another top class first five at the Hurricanes for next year with Taranaki's New Zealand under 20's star Beauden Barrett, Wellington's Michael Hobbs and Hawkes Bay's Daniel Kirkpatrick the front-runners.