10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
A former Super 14 player with the Chiefs and the Hurricanes, the 27-year-old Upton has also played for the Junior All Blacks.
Joining him in the northern Hemisphere is his fellow New Zealander Miah Nikora. The 24-year-old out-half joins Connacht on the back of Tasmin Makos NPC season.
Meanwhile, three Irish players have also signed for Connacht for the new season.
Back rower Mike McComish has joined Connacht from English National League Division One side Otley.
The 25-year-old former Ulster Academy player and Ireland Under-21 and Sevens international has impressed on the back of a successful season in England and is joined by his former team-mate at Otley, Brian Tuohy, who has transferred from the Cornish Pirates.
Tuohy, 26, has previously played for Shannon and was part of the 2008 Ireland 'A' Churchill Cup squad and the 2009 Ireland Rugby World Cup Sevens squad.
On the back of scoring 28 tries for the Pirates over the course of the last two seasons on the wing, he is hoping to continue his impressive form at the Sportsground.
Promising prop Jamie Hagan has joined Connacht from the Leinster Academy. The 22-year-old has already represented Ireland at Youths, Under-18 and Under-20 level and was part of the Under-20 Grand Slam-winning side in 2007.
Hagan made his Magners League debut for Leinster away to the Dragons last May.
Connacht are hoping to finalise their squad in the coming weeks and are still in negotiations with several players ahead of the start of the new campaign.