Beauden Barrett has confirmed his move to the Blues this morning and also revealed more details around the new contract as well as motives for the move.
It was revealed on TVNZ's Breakfast early this morning that Barrett had signed a four-year deal with the Auckland franchise from 2020 to 2023 - a deal Barrett has since confirmed.
"This is obviously a massive decision for me and my wife Hannah and we're really looking forward to the next chapter of our lives," Barrett said in a statement.
"The Hurricanes will always be a huge part of who I am. The Hurricanes environment and style of rugby they play has helped me become the player I am today, and I'll be leaving some very good mates.
"Wellington has been my rugby base for many years and university base for Hannah and we'll always have fond memories of living there. Home for us now is Taranaki and Auckland and home and family are immensely important to both of us."
Barrett's new deal will give him an extended break from rugby after the 2019 season wraps up with the World Chup, meaning he won't join his new team until midway through next year.
The contract also has an option for a short playing break in Japan at some point over the duration of the deal with the break to be negotatied between Barrett, NZR and the Blues.
"I'm enthusiastic about the new challenge I'll get with the Blues over the next four years. They're a team on the rise, I like the way they play and I'm really looking forward to being a part of that.
"While I'm looking forward to what the future holds, right now my focus is on the international season ahead with the All Blacks."
Blues coach Leon MacDonald said he was "over the moon" at the news of Barrett's arrival.
"It's huge for our club. As well as getting a world-class player, our young first-fives will flourish with the opportunity to train and play alongside Beauden, and I am sure he will be an immediate fan favourite at Eden Park," MacDonald said.
"We are happy to work with Beauden and New Zealand Rugby on the options he has negotiated for an extended break at the end of the year and potential offshore playing opportunity. He has earned that right."
Barrett will be leaving the Hurricanes after nine season at the club. In that time, he earned 125 appearances with the team and was a key part of the championship-winning side in 2016.