Tasman Makos front-row Kane Hames has been called up by the Chiefs as interim injury cover during their Super Rugby campaign.
Although he is not officially part of the Chiefs' set-up yet, the Hamilton-based franchise's chief executive and former Tasman boss Andrew Flexman said it was "highly likely" that Hames would join the two-time champions after they lost props Nepo Laulala and Pauliasi Manu to knee and Achilles injuries respectively.
Hames, who played for the Highlanders at Super Rugby level in 2014 and 2015, has battled with patellar tendonitis in both knees and a broken hand suffered while on duty for Tasman has added to his woes.
Flexman believes the former Maori All Black can be an asset for the Chiefs if they decide to sign him.
"We've got him up here in the interim for about a three-week period when we'll take him through a bit of medical screening and strength and conditioning stuff," Flexman told Fairfax Media.
"Failing something unforeseen, then he's highly likely to be an official replacement option for us [but] it's not set in stone at this point in time."