Hurricanes' prop Ben May has announced he will leave New Zealand following the Super Rugby season to join the Sanix club in Japan.
The Hurricanes front-rower has signed with Sanix for two years and is excited by the new challenge.
"I'm really looking forward to this next step in my career," said May of the move to Japan.
"When I signed on to the Canes I knew it would be my last stint in New Zealand. Coming to Wellington was a fresh challenge and I have enjoyed every minute, but it's not over yet. My focus is completely with the Hurricanes and making sure this season we go a step better than last year."
The versatile prop forward has made a huge impact with the Hurricanes since joining the team in 2012.
May reached the milestone of 50 Super Rugby caps last year after representing the Crusaders, Chiefs and now Hurricanes. Mark Hammett noted the experience and leadership that he has provided.
"Ben is a real team man. Both on the field and off the field, his commitment to the team is admirable. Ben joined the team willing to take a leadership role in the front row and help guide our younger players through their first Super Rugby season. "
"I know the advice and encouragement he gave to those players was huge in the way they played last year."
This announcement comes just days after he scored his first Hurricanes try, and on the record books, his first Super Rugby try. After beginning his career in Nelson Bays in 2004, he has since accumulated 69 provincial rugby caps and presently has 54 Super Rugby caps to his name.
Career Snapshot - Ben May
Physical: 1.93m, 124kg
Super Rugby Caps and Points: 54 caps, 5 points (1 try)
Super Rugby Debut: 2007 v Lions (Crusaders)
Provincial Caps and Points: 69 caps, 15 points (3 tries)
Provincial Debut: 2004 v Thames Valley (Nelson Bays)