Aaron Cruden

Transferring from Montpellier to a contract in Japan, Cruden, 30 and with 50 All Blacks Tests, had time available before taking up his Kobelco Steelers contract next year and has been snapped up by his old franchise.

Cruden debuted for the Chiefs in 2012, having earlier had two seasons with the Hurricanes. He's played 89 games for the Chiefs and scored 682 points during his earlier association in which he shared two Super Rugby titles.

He played 40 games for Montpellier but suffered injury frustrations.

He said, "It is a huge privilege to be part of the Gallagher Chiefs once again. It is a fantastic environment to be a part of, which made it an easy decision to choose to return for the 2020 season. I'm looking forward to getting back and stuck into pre-season training with the guys."

Coach Warren Gatland said: "It's great to have Aaron back to rejoin the Gallagher Chiefs.

"As a player he has a proven ability to create opportunities with his boot and can spark up an attack from anywhere on the part. We are fortunate and privileged to have him return and I will look forward to coaching him in the coming season."

Chiefs chief executive Michael Collins said the announcement of Cruden's return would be popular across the franchise.

"Aaron is an exceptional player and has been a fantastic leader for our team having co-captained the Chiefs for four seasons. He is a great team man who brings a wealth of experience and is greatly valued by his teammates. We are rapt he is returning to the club and we will value the contribution he will make both on and off the field," he said.