Blues general manager of high performance Tony Hanks, who along with head coach Leon MacDonald has spent time with Harlequins, said the team was "excited" about the "unique" arrangement. "It's fantastic to be part of a similar arrangement in reverse for such a promising young English player", Hanks said.
The 23-year-old recently signed a long-term extension to his contract with Harlequins that includes a sabbatical, allowing him to play for the Blues. Joe has had a long-standing ambition to play Super Rugby and with our strong connection with NZR we are pleased we can help facilitate this ambition.
I love the environment and set up we have at the club and I am exceptionally thankful to Gussy and the management for helping give me the chance to test myself in a league I have always wanted to play in whilst I am in my prime. "We are confident that he will learn from his experience in Super Rugby and certainly, our players, especially our young backs, will greatly appreciate learning from him".
Both sides excelled at the rugby World Cup as hosts Japan reached the quarter-finals for the first time, while England fell just short of winning the tournament for a second time in losing the final to South Africa last weekend. He has been a first-team regular for Harlequins in recent seasons, already amassing 85 games for the club.