The Highlanders say former All Black lock Brad Thorn will be invaluable to their side.
Thorn has just returned after playing in Japan and Europe following the World Cup.
The 38-year-old played 40 minutes of the Highlanders pre-season game against the Chiefs at the weekend and assistant coach Scott McLeod says his experience on and off the field is obvious.
McLeod says he has knowledge that will help in team discussions and he also knows how to win.
The Highlanders next warmup match is against the Crusaders in Oamaru on Friday.