New Zealand’s player drain shows no sign of abating.
Given the number of top class rugby players New Zealand produce, it is little why they are in such demand throughout Europe.
However, although it was previously the case that European clubs could only get their hands on retired All Blacks, now many of New Zealand’s up and coming stars are being tempted by the money on offer in northern hemisphere.
Last summer saw Charles Piutau miss out on a possible place in the All Blacks’ World Cup squad, by announcing his intention to join Ulster at the beginning of the 2016/17 season.
Indeed, after Piutau declared his intention to join the Irish side, he was not offered a short term deal at the Blues and as a result, found himself at Wasps this season.
It is not only Kiwis who are taking the money on offer in Europe, but their colleagues from South Africa and Australia. Consequently, the last number of years has seen the likes of Jared Payne, Scott Spedding and WP Nel capped by Ireland, France and Scotland respectively.
Therefore it did not come as too much of a surprise to read Johnny McNicholl state that he is attracted to the possibility of playing for Wales, after signing for the Scarlets.
I would much like to play for Wales. But three years is a long time, so it isn’t at the forefront of my mind at the moment.
While the Crusaders winger might not be a household name in this part of the World, according to Kiwi news site, Stuff, he was on Steve Hansen’s radar.
Indeed, given that both Nehe Milner-Skudder and Waisake Naholo are currently injured, had McNicholl not signed for the Welsh region, he could very well have made his All Black debut against Wales this summer.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena
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