Highlanders have confirmed the signing of Australia international Jermaine Ainsley ahead of the 2021 season.
Ainsley started his career with Perth Spirit and Western Force before switching to Melbourne Rebels in 2018. Overall he has played over 50 Super Rugby games for the two clubs combined and will finish his commitments with Rebels in the ongoing season before heading to Dunedin on a two-year deal.
The 5ft 11 in prop has played three Tests for Australia under Michael Cheika in 2018 but his move to Highlanders will make him ineligible to represent Wallabies as they have a policy of selecting players only with 60 or more Test caps plying trade overseas.
I’m very excited to be coming home and be surrounded by family," Ainsley said.
"Can’t wait to play Super Rugby in New Zealand, it’s a dream come true."
Highlanders head coach Aaron Mauger was pleased with the news of Ainsley joining the club next season.
"Even though Jermaine is only 24 he already has a wealth of experience with over 50 Super Rugby games and also some exposure at test level,"
"The fact that he has a strong link with our region and club history makes it all the better."