Premiership side swoops for Sopoaga
The deal will see the Highlanders and All Blacks first five depart New Zealand at the end of the 2018 season.
Sopoaga, who has played a critical backup role to starting first five Beauden Barrett, debuted for the All Blacks in 2015 helping guide the side to a 27-20 win over the Springboks.
Since then, the Wellington-raised player has added 15 tests and two matches to his All Blacks total.
The move will come as a blow to the All Blacks as they ramp up their preparations for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, although Richie Mo’unga looks likely to add to his test experience in the coming season.
It is not yet known how long the deal with the English club is for, but New Zealand Rugby will be freshly concerned that another international in his prime is leaving the country well before time.
By Scotty Stevenson, RugbyPass