Wales international centre Willis Halaholo has agreed to a new long-term deal with Cardiff Blues. The Blues announced new terms for Halaholo just three days after he made an impressive Wales debut in a 25-24 Guinness Six Nations victory over Scotland at Murrayfield.
New Zealand-born Halaholo, who qualifies for Wales on residency, made a considerable impact off the replacements’ bench as Wayne Pivac’s team recorded a second successive win in this season’s tournament.
Halaholo, 30, joined Cardiff in 2016 and he gained his Wales chance after recovering from a serious knee injury. “With Dai Young coming in as director of rugby and such an exciting and developing squad, it was a simple decision for me to make,” Halaholo told the Blues’ official website. “It was a long road back from my knee injury, but I feel I am rediscovering my previous form and there is definitely more to come.”
Young added: “Everyone knows Willis’ ability as a player – he carries hard, has electric feet and is a quality defender. “He is the kind of player that gives the opposition headaches as you don’t know what he is going to do. It was great to see him called up by Wales and I was very impressed with his performance in Scotland, where he made a big impression and displayed real maturity and leadership.”
— Cardiff Blues (@cardiff_blues) February 16, 2021
Wales boss Pivac was greatly enthused last week after calling the then uncapped Halaholo into his Six Nations squad. “Willis is by far the best in the collision area because of his footwork, he beats defenders and gets over the gain line so that is what we are looking to utilise.
“Also his offloading game and where we haven’t been ruthless on the edges and where we haven’t created opportunities, he is very good in that department of the game, straightening up the attack and putting people into space. We think that is what we need at the moment.” Putting people into space was precisely what Halaholo did late on at Murrayfield, executing an excellent pass to allow the match-winning Louis Rees-Zammit kick ahead and regather to score the decisive try.
"He could be a special player going forward"
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 11, 2021
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