All Blacks flanker Daniel Braid has signed for the Scarlets
The influential 28-year-old will leave Super 14 outfit the Queensland Reds this summer and join Parc y Scarlets teammates in July 2009 on a three year contract subject to obtaining a work permit and passing a medical.
With four New Zealand caps to his name and a distinguished career at home and in Australia, the openside will bring dynamic backrow strength to the ambitious Welsh region.
Chief Executive of the Scarlets, Stuart Gallacher said: "We're delighted to have Dan on board. He will add more quality, power and speed to our pack; he's a great character and will be a big favourite with supporters.
"We've worked hard to secure Dan's signature because he's the type of top quality player we need to move forward to work within the squad.
"This is a high profile signing for us - he is a world-class player and no doubt will have an impact here.
"His experience will be a key factor in developing our exciting home-grown forward talent such as Dominic Day, Lou Reed, Josh Turnbull and Johnathan Edwards.
"With Wales prop Rhys Thomas also joining us this summer - from the Newport Gwent Dragons, our pack is looking increasingly competitive."
Gallacher added that the region had not been in a position to officially announce Braid until all contractual details had been finalised with the player this week.
Braid said: "I'm really looking forward to moving to join the Scarlets and playing rugby in Europe. This is an exciting opportunity for me and I really like the look of the Scarlets. They have quite an open style of play and new stadium complex shows looks great. I've seen pictures of it and spoken to Deacon Manu about the indoor training centre as well which sounds pretty impressive.
"The new stadium and all its facilities shows me just where they want to be in the future. I been looking at the Magners League which looks like a good competition and following the Welsh and Irish players in the six nations. I'm looking forward to playing in the Heineken Cup and the Magners League."
The region will hope that Braid has a similar impact in the squad as Wallaby no8 David Lyons who joined this season who has been a big favourite with the Parc y Scarlets crowd for his work rate on the pitch. And Braid said his encounters with Lyons had left an impression.
"I've played against David lots of times, he's a great player - a great ball carrier, I've not enjoyed tackling him very much as he's very mobile for such a big man. It'll be good to play with him rather than against him.
"I spoke to a couple of the Kiwis at the Scarlets a while back including Regan King and Deacon Manu and I'm looking forward to teaming up with them and other quality players at the Scarlets."
Coming from Auckland, Braid knows all about being part of a club with a rich history. Auckland celebrates 125 years of rugby this year.
"Llanelli has got a great history and heritage and I'm aware of the All Blacks game at Stradey Park in the 70s. I've come from a really proud team back in Auckland with a lot of history going back to the 1880s and a great backing and crowd following and its good to be part of something like that."
Braid added that he and his fiancé are looking forward to moving over: "It's a great opportunity to play some good rugby and get to see more of Europe. We are both really excited about it."
Daniel Braid was born on February 13, 1981, in Tauranga, New Zealand the son of lock Gary Braid who made the All Blacks in 1983-84.
Standing 6ft 1in and weighing in at 14st 11lb, he starred in secondary schools rugby and played for Auckland University. He began his top-flight career at Auckland where he played in the Air New Zealand Cup and - for the Blues - in Super 14.
He played three Tests for the All Blacks in 2002 and 2003, scoring one try, and returned to the New Zealand international set-up last summer, playing one international against Australia. Braid's first test was in Wales in 2002 with the All Blacks.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.