The NSW Waratahs have confirmed Ned Hanigan will return to the club in 2022 after finishing his commitments with Japanese side Kurita Water Gush.
Hanigan has impressed since making his debut for his home state, playing 43 games for the club in 2016.
He would make his Wallabies debut in 2017 against Fiji, playing 15 games for his country, including five of the six Tests in 2020.
Hanigan will spend the start of the season in Japan, expected to be available for the Waratahs from April 2022.
The 26-year-old is confident he can play a major role in the Waratahs forward pack, joining the likes of Jed Holloway and Michael Hooper in returning home for 2022.
“I’m very grateful that the Waratahs have welcomed me back,” Hanigan said in a statement.
“I’m really enjoying my time abroad at Kurita Water Gush in Japan, but as a proud New South Welshman I can’t wait to hopefully get the opportunity to represent my home state and the Wallabies again soon.
“It’s going to be great to reunite with some old faces including Darren Coleman who I played under during the NRC with the mighty NSW Country Eagles, as well working with a few new faces too.”
This was shared by Waratahs CEO Paul Doorn, who believes the fan favourite will help turn around their fortunes next season.
“We are pleased to welcome Ned back to the Waratahs,” Doorn said.
“Ned is another vital piece of our recruitment strategy and his announcement rounds out a very exciting week for our side. Our goal is to lock in our best and most promising players and surround them with some key additions for next year and beyond.
“Hanigan brings international experience to our pack, is a well-liked member of our team, and his ability to play lock as well as in the backrow give our side great flexibility in 2022.