New Zealand have been suffering a player drain for a number of years.
When the Scarlets this morning announced the capture of Crusaders winger, Johnny McNicholl, very few fans outside of Wales took much notice.
Although he may not be a household name, McNicholl has established himself in the Crusaders squad since joining the Canterbury based franchise in 2013.
Indeed, due to the injuries suffered by both Nehe Milner-Skudder and Waisake Naholo, some considered McNicholl to be close to breaking into the All Black squad.
It was therefore a surprise to read McNicholl declare his intention to play for Wales after completing three seasons with the Scarlets.
Nevertheless, by joining the Scarlets, McNicholl will be joining a multitude of his fellow countrymen in the Northern Hemisphere.
However, unlike in previous years when European clubs were only able to sign retired All Blacks, in recent seasons the likes of Charles Piutau have been lured north.
Not only that, but some players such as Jared Payne joined Ulster with the intention of playing for Ireland upon after adhering to World Rugby’s residency rules. Although many fans have expressed concerns in relation to the residency issue, it is hard to blame the players themselves for wanting to pursue an international career.
In any event, the signing of McNicholl inspired us to compile a European based All Black XV
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Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena
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