Chiefs scrum-half Brendon Leonard has agreed to join Italian outfit Zebre on a two-year deal at the end of the Super Rugby season.
The 14-capped All Black has found Super Rugby opportunities hard to come by this season, with injuries and the form of Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Augustine Pulu keeping him on the sidelines.
Under this backdrop Leonard has decided to seek pastures new having turned out on 73 occasions for the Chiefs and 63 times for Waikato.
"I have been in Waikato my whole life and the time in my career has come to explore some new challenges and travel," said the 28-year-old.
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie paid tribute to the departing number nine.
"Brendon is an outstanding man. He has been a big part of our success and a fantastic servant of the Chiefs," said Rennie.
"He has been a massive contributor to our team and will be greatly missed. We also appreciate that it is a great opportunity for him and wish him all the best for his new move."