Tasman lock Joe Wheeler has signed with the Highlanders on a two-year contract and will join the franchise when the squad assembles in mid-December.
Born in Christchurch, 23 year old Wheeler has played four games for the Crusaders and also has 41 provincial caps with the Tasman Makos.
Wheeler is currently playing for Tasman in the ITM Cup.
Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph is looking forward to getting Wheeler into the Highlanders set-up.
''Joe is a well-rounded player and he will fit well into the culture we have created at the Highlanders. Also his ability to play as a loose forward gives us additional options in the forward pack''
Highlanders general manager Roger Clark said Wheeler will be a welcome addition to the Highlanders 2013 squad.
''We're working away on the player contracting process at present, and it's pleasing to get a player of Joe's ability signed for the next two years.''
The Southland Times