Scotland have announced the shock call-up of Highlanders back-row John Hardie, who joins the extended squad preparing for the 2015 World Cup.
The 26-year-old Dunedin stalwart – who missed the Super Rugby final triumph over the Hurricanes due to a rib injury – arrived in Scotland on Wednesday.
"We're pleased to welcome John into the group and look forward to him intensifying the competition for places in an already fiercely contested area of our squad," head coach Vern Cotter told thescotlandteam.com.
"Depth is crucial to any World Cup campaign and it will be vital to see the contributions of the entire squad in our four warm-up matches, before making a decision on the final 31."
The flanker – who qualifies for the country through his grandmother Christina Lumsden from Low Valleyfield, Culross in Fife, and whose brother Grant played for Peebles RFC in the 2009/10 season – was delighted to earn selection.
"Representing Scotland has been on my radar for a long time so I'm delighted to get this chance to compete for a place in the squad for the Rugby World Cup," said Hardie.
"I'm under no illusions how tough it's going to be to make the final selection but I'm looking forward to getting started and showing how much this opportunity means to me and my family."