With the departures of both Tadhg Beirne and Scotland Captain, John Barclay confirmed earlier this season, the Scarlets have now confirmed the signing of Hurricanes Utility Forward, Blade Thomson.
The 27-year-old former Under 20 World Champion and four times capped Maori All Black has made 40 appearances for the Hurricanes since 2013, playing alongside future team mate, Hadleigh Parkes in his first season. Unfortunately, his career has thus far been hampered by injury, as he has suffered two serious shoulder injuries.
Thomson made a return to action over the weekend, making an impression off the bench.
Head Coach, Wayne Pivac commented, “Blade’s Super Rugby experience will be a welcome addition to the pack and the squad as a whole.”
“He is a very athletic, no-nonsense player with a big engine who will be an effective ball carrier both in the wide channels as well as in the middle of the pack,” he revealed.
Born in Auckland, New Zealand and standing at 6ft 6inches, Thomson is equally comfortable playing at Flanker, Number 8 or in the second row.
Speaking on the news of his signing, Thomson added, “I’m really looking forward to heading north to join the Scarlets for the 2018-2019 season.”
“They play an exciting brand of rugby, finished last season as champions and are continuing to push for silverware in both competitions,” he continued.
Scarlets General Manager of Rugby, Jon Daniels revealed, “We have ambitions of competing in the Guinness Pro14 and European Rugby Champions Cup season to season where strength in depth in the squad plays a huge part.”
He added, “Blade will bring a wealth of experience and will bring an additional physical edge to the pack. We very much look forward to welcoming him to Parc y Scarlets.”
The news that the pack will be bolstered for next season was welcome news following the sad announcement that promising back row prospect, Jack Condy has been forced to hang up his boots at just 23 years of age.
Condy made his Scarlets debut against Zebre in 2015, however, a knee injury sustained years ago has forced a premature end to his career. Speaking about the decision, Condy said, “It has become clear over the past twelve months that it is not possible to continue to play at a professional level after sustaining such a significant knee injury years ago.”
He added, “I’m privileged and extremely proud to have represented the Scarlets over the last three years and will be a supporter for the rest of my life.”
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