Kobe Steelers have confirmed the signings of former New Zealand duo Ben Smith and Aaron Cruden.
Smith and Cruden are set to ply their trade in Japan whenever the season starts, with no date for a return to action confirmed after the previous campaign was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.
World Cup winners Smith and Cruden both returned to their homeland following spells in France.
First five-eighth Cruden, 31, rejoined the Chiefs for the Super Rugby Aotearoa season after leaving Montpellier and will be on the move again.
The playmaker, who will making his 100th Chiefs appearance against the Crusaders on Saturday, had been expected to join the Steelers after his short stint with Warren Gatland’s side.
He will be joined by versatile back Smith, who ended his stay with Pau after the Top 14 season was halted.
The 34-year-old ruled out rejoining the Highlanders following his return to New Zealand and will head overseas again.
Brodie Retallick is another All Black who linked up with the Steelers last year and the great Dan Carter also played for the club.
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