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The Highlanders have lost out on another first five-eighth.
The Hurricanes announced yesterday they have signed utility back James Marshall for next season.
Marshall (29) is returning to the club for next season after playing in England for London Irish for the past two years.
He played the last of his matches for the Hurricanes when the club won its first Super Rugby title in 2016.
''I'm very excited to be heading back to the Hurricanes, a team that I've always loved and supported since I was a kid,'' Marshall said.
''I feel that it's the best environment for me to play to my potential being surrounded by the quality players and management that they have.''
The Highlanders have been scouting around looking for a replacement first five-eighth for the departing Lima Sopoaga, who is off to play in the United Kingdom.
But so far the search appears to have come up short.
The likes of Colin Slade, Tom Taylor and Marty Banks have all signed on for further contracts at their overseas clubs.
The club has signed Josh Ioane and Bryn Gatland for next year but still need another first five-eighth for this squad.
It was thought Fletcher Smith was out of the reckoning but he could be a chance to come back to the Highlanders next season.
The side has until the end of October to complete its squad so there is plenty of time to get someone - if that player exists.