Southland flanker Tim Boys, who has just been named as the Invercargill-based union's Player of the Year for 2015, will join the Crusaders for the 2016 season.
He will provide another option to Matt Todd at openside flanker, especially with Canterbury flanker Jed Brown being forced to sit out the first part of the season with an ACL injury.
Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder said he was excited to have a player of Boys’ calibre joining the squad and was confident he would fit in well in the Crusaders environment.
“I’ve been watching him closely over this ITM Cup season and I am really impressed with what I have seen," Blackadder told the Crusaders' official website.
"He is tough, he’s good over the ball and most importantly, he is consistent and reliable which is exactly what we’re looking for in a Super Rugby player.
“I am not surprised to see that he’s been awarded the Stags Player of the Year as it’s clear that he’s really been leading the charge for that team this year.
"He has a huge work rate and, for me, it’s not so much what he does with the ball as what he does without it that has impressed me.”
Boys is looking forward to moving his family up to Christchurch and joining the Crusaders environment.
“I have a fair bit of experience now with a few different teams, and I’ve always looked to the Crusaders as one of the top teams in the country," he said.
"So to be a part of that is really exciting.
“It helps that I already know Brad Mooar really well, and he’ll obviously be part of the coaching team next year, and I’m looking forward to getting to know the players as well and hopefully getting out for a bit of hunting with the lads in my spare time!”
Boys has played over 100 games for Southland, and previously played 10 games for Otago. He also has Super Rugby experience, gaining 42 caps for the Highlanders between 2006 and 2013.
He leads the tackle count among this year’s ITM Cup players.