The Blues may be excited about acquiring the services of All Blacks star Beauden Barrett for the next four years, but they'll still have to deal with multiple clauses in his contract that will see him miss plenty of action.
Barrett's new contract that takes him through to 2023 sees him move from the Hurricanes to the Auckland franchise but the first-five will have an extended break in 2020 as well as an option to spend some time playing in Japan.
Barrett said while he hadn't finalised what he intends to do with his break but he hopes it will be "well deserved" after the Rugby World Cup.
"We'll just take it as it comes," Barrett said.
Unlike other All Blacks' contracts that have been finalised that have given specific timeframes around playing in Japan over the next four years, Barrett's simply gives the time away as an option.
Barrett said it wasn't for any serious reason.
"There's still uncertainties around the Japanese competition structure so it's as simple as that - we needed flexibility," he said.
"I didn't want to lock anything in for four years, especially when there's so many uncertainties."
Other All Blacks who have signed on long-term with New Zealand Rugby but will take sabbaticals in Japan are Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock.