Hurricanes have confirmed that former New Zealand lock Dominic Bird will join the club ahead of the 2022 season.
Bird made his club debut with provincial side Canterbury in 2011 with his Super Rugby debut for Crusaders coming two years later. He made a switch to rivals Chiefs in 2016.
At the end of the 2018 season, the 30-year-old joined French club Racing 92 but now will return back to New Zealand joining Wellington Lions for this year’s Bunnings Warehouse NPC before joining the Hurricanes ahead of the 2022 Super Rugby season.
“I’m excited to be getting back into Super Rugby next year and returning to NZ with my family to live,” the two-test All Black said.
“We’ve enjoyed our time with Racing Metro in France, and I feel like I’ve been playing some of my best rugby up there, but now is the right time to return home. I’m looking forward to testing myself again in Super Rugby and adding huge value to the Hurricanes in 2022.”
Bird was also part of the New Zealand Under 20 side that clinched the Junior World Championship in Italy in 2011 and has played two Tests for the All Blacks with his last appearance coming in November 2014.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing Dom turn up and show his experience for the Wellington Lions before he comes into our group,” Hurricanes head coach Jason Holland said.
“Speaking with him, we know how much he wants to prove himself again in New Zealand rugby and you can’t beat the sort of experience he will bring to us. He’s a big man who has shown he can match it with some of the toughest forwards in a really challenging competition and we think he will bring real value to the club.”
Hurricanes finished the 2021 season of Super Rugby Aotearoa last after managing just two wins from eight games.