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Kiwi-born McNicholl's Wales boost

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Kiwi-born McNicholl signs new deal with Scarlets and it's good news for Wales

Johnny McNicholl has become the latest high-profile player to sign a new deal with the Scarlets.

Last week Grand Slam winners Jonathan Davies, Ken Owens and Rob Evans penned new contracts.

Born in Christchurch, McNicholl was a regular for the Crusaders in Super Rugby and a title winner with the Canterbury provincial team before making the move to West Wales in 2016.

The 28-year-old qualifies for Six Nations champions Wales on residency in December.

Wayne Pivac, who will replace Warren Gatland as Wales head coach at the end of the 2019 World Cup, is delighted to see the deal done.

“It is great news that Johnny has signed a new contract. He has been one of the most dangerous attacking threats in the PRO14 in recent years and played a big part in us reaching successive finals and a European semi-final.

“With the news of Jon, Ken and Rob signing last week, this is another significant signing for the Scarlets. The squad is looking strong for next season.”

McNicholl, who can play full-back or wing, joined from New Zealand Super Rugby side Crusaders in 2016 and was part of the Scarlets team that lifted the Guinness PRO12 title that season.

A potent attacking runner, he made an immediate impact at Parc y Scarlets with a try on his debut against Leinster and has gone on to touch down 27 times in 59 appearances, including a memorable hat-trick in last season’s PRO14 final in Dublin.

“I am happy that everything has been finalised and I’m staying at the Scarlets,” said McNicholl.

“Myself and my family are settled here in Wales and have been made to feel very welcome.

“We have had some great success over the last couple of years and hopefully there is more to come.

“I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my former Crusaders coach Brad Mooar and feel there are exciting times ahead.”

Watch: Kiwi’s Abroad – Join RugbyPass employee of the month runner-up Sam Smith as he embarks on an epic journey across Europe to track down some of the finest Kiwi talent plying their trade in the Northern Hemisphere.

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Kiwi-born McNicholl signs new deal with Scarlets and it's good news for Wales