New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden has signed a three-year deal with Montpellier, but will be available for the Lions tour this summer.
Cruden, who has played in 47 Tests for the All Blacks, will become ineligible for his country once he joins the French Top 14 side, but will see out the remainder of the season with the Chiefs.
The 28-year-old will therefore still be available for selection to face the Lions in June and July, and could operate as back-up to Beauden Barrett for the series.
“It’s with great sadness that this will be my last year playing rugby here in New Zealand, representing Manawatu, the Chiefs and also the All Blacks,” Cruden said when announcing his decision.
“Personally I would like to thank all of the rugby fans across New Zealand for all of the loyal and continued support that you have given me throughout my career. Thanks also to my friends and family. They have stuck by me and given me all that support that was needed for a young kid from Palmy to live out a childhood dream.
“I look forward to the next six months in New Zealand. Firstly Super Rugby with the Chiefs and hopefully making a good run at that title. If the future holds an All Blacks jersey in the Lions series I will be working hard to make sure that happens.”
Cruden made his debut for New Zealand in 2010 and the reliable goal-kicker has since gone on to score 322 points, leaving him fourth on the all-time All Blacks Test point scoring list.