The Counties Manukau Rugby Football Union on Monday confirmed the signing of former All Blacks captain Kieran Read for the upcoming Mitre 10 Cup season.
The former Crusaders stalwart retired from the international game after last year's Rugby World Cup.
The 128-Test All Black then signed on with Toyota Verblitz in Japan's Top League. He will play another season there in 2021, but before returning overseas, has agreed to terms with the Steelers - a team he supported growing up.
"While I played a lot of my representative rugby in Christchurch, my roots will always be in Counties Manukau," Read told the All Blacks' official website.
"I remember going along to games in Pukekohe as a kid and while I've been aligned with the province in recent years, my All Blacks commitments have meant I've never actually had the chance to pull on the red, black and white hoops in a Mitre 10 Cup game.
"I'm really excited about the upcoming season and about the prospect of playing provincial rugby in front of my family and friends at Navigation Homes Stadium in the community I grew up in."
Read, who is based in Christchurch, will link up with the Steelers ahead of their team camp in Ohope in a fortnight's time and is expected to take part in a pre-season game against Bay of Plenty in Whakatane on 4 September.