Counties Manukau and Chiefs back-rower Fritz Lee has signed a three month deal with Top 14 outfit Clermont.
The move has been confirmed by the French club with Lee set to leave Counties at the end of their ITM Cup campaign. Lee is heading to the Heineken Cup finalists as a 'medical joker' to fill the gap left by injured stalwart Elvis Verumeulen, who has a slipped disk in his neck.
The deal allows him to return to New Zealand early next year before the start of the Super Rugby campaign, providing he picks up a new contract.
The 25-year-old, who is Counties' captain, will join several New Zealanders, including Sitiveni Sivivatu, Mike Delany, Benson Stanley and Regan King at Clermont who are coached by former Crusaders assistant coach Vern Cotter.
Clermont are rumoured to be chasing All Blacks midfielder Ma'a Nonu as they aim to build a team to rival big spending rivals Toulon.