All Blacks scrumhalf TJ Perenara will miss next year's Super Rugby Aotearoa to play club rugby in Japan, the Hurricanes said on Monday.
Perenara, 28, will swap the Hurricanes for the Osaka-based NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes.
"It doesn't mean it's the end for me [in New Zealand]. I'm looking forward to an exciting challenge over in Japan," the 66-Test back said in a statement.
New Zealand Rugby performance manager Chris Lendrum said Perenara was leading with his organisation's blessing and it looked forward to welcoming him back after the stint in Japan.
"TJ has been a long-standing and loyal player for New Zealand Rugby for a decade now and so the opportunity for him to have a break from playing here to have the experience of playing in Japan is a positive for him and his family," he said.