Northampton Saints have confirmed the signing of Blues first‑five Piers Francis.
He made his provincial debut for Auckland in 2011, played for Waikato the following year, before returning to the UK to play for Edinburgh and Doncaster between 2012 and 2015.
Francis then came back to New Zealand again after signing a two‑year deal with Counties Manukau which was coached by Tana Umaga at the time.
When the Blues unveiled Umaga as coach for 2016, Francis joined him and he replaced Ihaia West as the Blues' No 10 for last Friday's 33‑24 loss to the Crusaders in Christchurch.
Francis will join up with Saints ahead of the 2017‑18 season.
The Chiefs and the Hurricanes will take a break this week.
The Crusaders clash with Western Force at 6.35pm Friday, the Waratahs play the Rebels at 8.45pm, the Blues face the Bulls at 6.35pm Saturday while the Brumbies will clash with the Highlanders at 8.45pm Saturday.
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