The Highlanders will be without fly-half Hayden Parker this season after he was ruled out with a knee injury, it was confirmed on Thursday.
Parker, 26, ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, which has opened the door to Marty Banks signing as temporary cover.
“We are all pretty gutted for Hayden,” head coach Tony Brown told AAP.
“He has worked so hard to get back to fitness and was really looking forward to the season. We wish him well with his rehab.”
Banks is now set to act as back-up to starting 10 Lima Sopoaga.