The Scarlets have issued a statement confirming that the All Blacks have made an approach over their head coach Brad Mooar.

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In a move that will worry fans, the PRO14 side also admitted that discussions are at ‘an early stage’ with the NZR.

New All Blacks head coach Ian Foster is eager to bring Mooar back to New Zealand.

The statement reads:

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“We have been made aware that newly-appointed All Blacks head coach Ian Foster would like Scarlets head coach Brad Mooar to join his New Zealand coaching team at the end of the 2019-20 season.

“Discussions between the Scarlets and New Zealand Rugby are at an early stage and we are unable to comment further until those discussions are concluded.

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“In the meantime, Brad, the coaching team and playing group, are firmly focused on this evening’s crucial European Challenge Cup match against Bayonne, followed by the big Welsh derby matches over the festive season.”

Mooar has made a highly successful start to his reign at Scarlets, have moved from Super Rugby champions Crusaders.

Mooar progressed through the Canterbury age grades as a flyhalf, reaching Canterbury B level. He played for Mid-Canterbury from 1997-1999 and then played overseas before returning to Christchurch to take up coaching.

His first coaching role was with the Christchurch Colts and then the club’s premier team from 2007 to 2011. In 2011 he became the assistant coach of the Canterbury Colts.

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In 2012 he moved to South Africa to coach the EP Kings then become assistant coach of the Southern Kings Super Rugby side under Matt Sexton’s leadership. He returned to New Zealand to take up the head coach and Director of Rugby role at Southland.

Away from the rugby field Mooar is a qualified solicitor and was admitted as barrister and solicitor to High Court of New Zealand in 1997.

Later today Wales internationals Wyn Jones, Jake Ball and Gareth Davies will make their first appearances of the season as the Scarlets continue their push for European Challenge Cup qualification at home to Bayonne.

SCARLETS (v Bayonne; Parc y Scarlets Saturday, Dec 14, 7.45pm)
15 Leigh Halfpenny; 14 Ryan Conbeer, 13 Corey Baldwin, 12 Steff Hughes (capt), 11 Steff Evans; 10 Angus O’Brien, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Javan Sebastian, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Sam Lousi, 6 Lewis Rawlins, 7 Jac Morgan, 8 Uzair Cassiem.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Danny Drake, 20 Ed Kennedy, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Dan Jones, 23 Paul Asquith.

Unavailable because of injury
Rhys Patchell (shoulder), Jonathan Davies (knee), James Davies (back), Aaron Shingler (knee), Samson Lee (shoulder), Kieron Fonotia (calf), Tom Prydie (hamstring), Tom Phillips (hand), Taylor Davies (knee), Dan Davis (foot), Joe Roberts (knee).

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