Leigh Halfpenny has chosen the Scarlets ahead of others, because of their playing style – according to coach Wayne Pivac.
The Wales full-back has signed a three-year deal with the region on a national dual contract, primarily funded by the Welsh Rugby Union.
Halfpenny held talks with the Cardiff Blues earlier in the year after his relationship with French club Toulon began to come under stress.
He was also linked with other French and English clubs, but after the Scarlets and WRU confirmed the move on Thursday evening, Pivac claimed the Guinness Pro12 champions’ attractive playing style held sway.
Pivac said: “It has worked out really well and we look forward to welcoming Leigh and he’s really excited to be joining the Scarlets because of the way we play the game.”
“Leigh joining is great news for the club, the supporters, the team and the region as a whole.
“With the experience of Liam [Williams] and DTH [van der Merwe] moving on at the end of last season we’ve added some new players to the squad, some exciting young talent, and a guy like Leigh brings a lot of experience to the squad that he will share with those young players.”
The 28-year-old returns to Wales after a three-year spell with French giants Toulon and a third tour with the British & Irish Lions.
“I’m delighted to be coming back to play in Wales,” said Halfpenny. “I would like to thank the Scarlets and the WRU for giving me the opportunity to sign a National Dual Contract and can’t wait to get started.”
His return to Wales, where he previously played for the Blues between 2008-2014, has been approved by Wales coach Warren Gatland.
“It is great news for Welsh rugby that Leigh Halfpenny is returning to play his rugby in Wales,” said Gatland.
“The NDC system helps us to bring these players back and I look forward to seeing him play for the Scarlets.”
Halfpenny had been left in limbo just prior to the Lions tour in June when Toulon opted not to renew his contract for a further season.
But his return to Wales means the 71-timed capped player will play fewer matches than in the Top 14 and also be available for games outside of the international Test window.
WRU chief executive, Martin Phillips said: “I’m delighted that we are able to announce Leigh’s return to Wales.
“His signature rubber stamps our commitment to the game here in Wales by having our best players playing their rugby on home soil which is vital to the future health of our game.
“We have made no secret of that and the importance both on and off the field at regional and national level in Welsh players playing their rugby in Wales.”
DOB: 22 December 1988
Place of birth: Swansea
Previous clubs: Neath (2006), Cardiff (2007/08), Cardiff Blues (2008-14), Toulon (2014-17)
Wales caps: 71
Wales points: 619 (3rd on Wales all-time list behind Neil Jenkins and Stephen Jones)
Other Honours: Wales U16, U18, U19, U20
British & Irish Lions: 2009, 2013, 2017 (49 pts)
The post Leigh Halfpenny Was Smitten By Scarlets Style, Says Wayne Pivac appeared first on Dai Sport.