Cardiff Blues are delighted to confirm the major signing of New Zealand international forward Jarrad Hoeata from Super 15 giants the Highlanders.
Hoeata, who can play second row or back row, will move to the Arms Park at the completion of the 2014 Investec Super Rugby season.
The Tauranga-born ace has been a member of the All Blacks, Maori All Blacks, All Blacks Sevens, has represented three Super Rugby teams and has been a mainstay of the Taranaki ITM Cup side since his playing debut in 2006.
The 30-year-old – who stands a menacing 6ft 5in tall and weighs 17st 6lbs – has won three caps for New Zealand after making his debut in 2011 against Fiji. He also featured in two Tests against South Africa in the Tri-Nations.
Hoeata will become the latest New Zealander to represent the Blues and follows in the footsteps of Xavier Rush, Paul Tito, Ben Blair, Michael Paterson and Jonah Lomu.
He becomes the latest recruit for Blues ahead of next season, joining scrum half Tavis Knoyle, flanker Josh Turnbull, prop Craig Mitchell, wing George Watkins and Number Eight Ieuan Jones.
Hoeata said: “I wanted to leave NZ while I am still on top of my game so I could really contribute wherever I went. I am now massively excited about joining Cardiff Blues and helping them reach some lofty goals moving forward.
“I have only heard positive things about the Blues set-up and Cardiff itself. I am good mates with Paul Tito who thoroughly enjoyed his time there so I am really looking forward to the move north once I’m finished with the Highlanders.
“I’m excited about the challenge of playing rugby in Europe. I know it will be different to how we play the game here but I am really motivated by that challenge and of adapting to a new side, club and competitions.”
Richard Holland, Chief Executive at Blues, said: “We are very pleased to announce that Jarrad will join the Blues and his signing is a major statement of intent as we build towards a successful future.
“I know Jarrad is very excited about the move to northern hemisphere rugby and we are pleased that a player of his talent and drive wants to become a key part of our squad.
“We would like to thank the WRU for its support and approval over this signing and we will now go through the normal visa process as we look forward to welcoming Jarrad to the Cardiff Blues at the end of the Super Rugby season.”
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