London Irish have landed the signature of highly-rated Blues fly-half Chris Noakes on a two-year deal.
The 28-year-old has a very astute rugby brain and is a strong character both on and off the field.
Noakes made his breakthrough with Otago in the ITM Cup back in 2007 where he went on to make 26 appearances scoring 120 points. He has also represented Bay of Plenty 16 times in the New Zealand domestic competition.
The Highlanders signed the fly-half up for the 2012 Super Rugby campaign where he announced himself on the world rugby stage. In 12 starts for the Highlanders he registered 86 points before securing a move to Auckland to join the Blues.
In his two years in Auckland, Noakes has emerged as a key member of John Kirwan's squad.
Irish director of rugby Brian Smith is thrilled to have the New Zealander on board for next season.
"Chris is a very accomplished fly-half. He's a prolific goal kicker with a 75 percent average in the Super XV and he knows how to get a backline moving," said Smith.
"He is also eligible to play for England and we feel he is very well suited to the European game."