Waikato have handed an NPC contract to Zac Guildford, marking a return to first class rugby for the former All Blacks winger.
Guildford earned the deal on the back of impressive performances this year for the Waikato sevens team and at club level.
The 28-year-old, who has a chequered off-field history due to alcohol-related issues, hasn't played at first class level since a curtailed Super Rugby campaign with the Waratahs last year.
He took a step back when returning to New Zealand, playing for Wairarapa Bush in the semi-professional Heartland Championship.
Waikato head coach Sean Botherway says Guildford is ready to display his undoubted skill in the Premiership division team.
"Zac has shown a strong desire to get back into professional rugby. This is another positive step toward that goal," he said.
"He has excelled in his performances through the sevens programme and in our local club competition for Hamilton Old Boys".
World Cup winner Guildford played 11 Tests from 2009-12 and has racked up 86 matches at Super Rugby level for the Hurricanes, Crusaders and Waratahs.