Christchurch - Twinkle-toed Aucklander Orene Ai'i is the 28th and final player in the Crusaders line-up for this season's Super 12 rugby campaign.
The elusiveness and flair of the 22-year-old New Zealand sevens representative has impressed Crusaders head coach Robbie Deans.
Deans cast the net wide - Fijian sevens star Filimoni Delasau was understood to be in the frame before contractual issues and injuries intervened - and Ai'i was confirmed on Sunday as the last Crusader.
Although he has played first five-eighths previously for Auckland, Deans said Ai'i had been selected as an outside back.
"We rate him as an outside back. He came on the New Zealand A tour with me (in 2000) and he has showed he's got the ability to beat people and to create.
"He's got a good personality off the field and we respect his ability on the field. That's why we sought him and we believe he'll fit in superbly," Deans said.
Ai'i has been part of the Blues' last two Super 12 campaigns and they had first call on his services.
The Blues have yet to announce their last player, but it is believed that they intend signing former All Blacks five-eighths Lee Stensness, who has returned from France.
Stensness, 31, was in the Blues teams which won the first two Super 12 titles in 1996 and 1997.
Deans said he was pleased to have finalised the selections.
"It's good to have it all finally resolved. There's wasn't much we could do because the Blues were due to name their 28th player and they had first choice."
Former New Zealand prop Richard Loe, who assisted new All Blacks coach John Mitchell with the team's scrummaging late last year, has also been assisting the Crusaders in that area.
"We're using Richard to help us with our scrummaging and that's good continuity from the All Blacks campaign," Deans said. - Sapa-NZPA