The Waratahs have secured the signing of the replacement for Sekope Kepu in the shape of Blues tighthead Angus Ta'avao.
The 25-year-old prop will join for the 2016 season after playing in the ITM Cup with Taranaki and will step into the shoes of Kepu, who is heading to Europe to play for Bordeaux-Bègles next season.
Ta'avao has made 48 appearances for the Blues in Super Rugby since making his debut for the franchise in 2012, and future Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson believes he will add significant depth in the front row.
"We are delighted to secure the services of a quality player like Angus, who is highly-regarded by our players as a very capable tighthead and a determined competitor," Gibson said.
"His addition to our squad for 2016 will shore up our personnel in the tighthead position alongside Paddy Ryan, and will provide substantial depth and versatility to the front row."
Ta'avao has the added advantage of being eligible to play for Australia, where his mother was born and according to the Waratahs, the ARU have already shown an interest in the player.
"Angus is great recruit for us, and we’re extremely pleased he has committed to the Waratahs,” said Waratahs Rugby CEO Greg Harris.
"Our interest in him really developed following a meeting which he had with Daryl Gibson earlier this year.
"Daryl was as impressed with the quality of the character of the man as much as his rugby ability. He is a great fit for the Waratah culture and his recruitment has already attracted interest from the ARU."