Leinster have confirmed that Isa Nacewa has joined the province for a second time.
The 32-year-old will join Leinster for the start of pre-season training ahead of the 2015/16 campaign, and will return in a playing capacity only.
The fan favourite has not played rugby since retiring after the 2013 Pro12 final in which Leinster beat Ulster.
Since then, he has been working as mental skills coach with the Auckland Blues.
During his time with Leinster, Nacewa made 126 appearances, scoring 24 tries and winning three Heineken Cup titles and a Pro12 title. He was named Leinster and IRUPA player of the year in 2011, and short-listed for the European player of the year.
Leinster head coach Matt O’Connor said that Nacewa would contribute while their resourses were tested during the forthcoming World Cup.
“As soon as we became aware that he was keen on a return it was something that we have worked hard to get over the line,” O’Connor said.
“We mentioned last week how our resources will be tested during the World Cup window and to be able to bring in a top quality player who we know will contribute massively to the environment when the more experienced lads are away, is huge for us.”
O’Connor also addressed concerns around his lack of minutes on the field since retiring.
“He hasn’t played in a bit but he hasn’t been alien to a rugby environment either working with the Auckland Blues as a mental skills coach and he has really enjoyed his time there.
“He has kept himself in good shape and was always in regular contact with some of the lads here like Leo.
“But there is obviously still a feeling that he has unfinished business on the pitch.”
The player himself said he was very excited to be back at Leinster, and that if he had not taken the opportunity to come back there would always have been a sense of “What if”.
“I’ve had a number of chats with Matt obviously around my role but ultimately I just can’t wait to get back onto the pitch, training and playing and of course running out at a full RDS,” Nacewa said.