Taranaki midfield back Jayden Hayward has signed with the Hurricanes for the 2012 Super Rugby season.
Hayward, 24, was believed to have missed the cut after Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett signed former Crusaders midfielder Tim Bateman to join All Blacks centre Conrad Smith and the Wellington pair of Charlie Ngatai and Alapati Leiua.
While the Hurricanes have yet to release any details about the deal, Taranaki Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson confirmed on Saturday that Hayward had signed with the Wellington-based franchise late last week.
The deal is just reward for Hayward, who has been one of Taranaki's outstanding backs in the past two national provincial campaigns. His signature is believed to be the last in Hammett's 28-man playing roster, which will be bolstered by four players from the draft when New Zealand's Super coaches sit down next month to declare their squads.
Thirteen other Taranaki players have confirmed Super Rugby deals. Andre Taylor, Beauden Barrett, Jason Eaton, Michael Bent, Blade Thomson and James Broadhurst are heading to the Hurricanes. At the Chiefs are Mahonri Schwalger, Craig Clarke, Shane Cleaver and Scott Waldrom. Kurt Baker, Andrew Hore and Jarrad Hoeata are Highlanders.
- Taranaki Daily News
Will Aaron Cruden's omission hurt or help the All Blacks?Related story: Senior All Blacks 'pretty disappointed' in Cruden