1. ITV Report

Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny joins Scarlets

Leigh Halfpenny has joined the Scarlets on a three-year deal partly funded by the Welsh Rugby Union.

Credit: WRU

The British and Irish Lions full-back will return to Wales after three years in France with Toulon, having signed a national dual contract.

Halfpenny's future had been left in limbo after Toulon opted not to offer the former Cardiff Blues star a new deal, but now his return to Welsh soil has relieved a potential headache for national boss Gatland.

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I'm delighted to be coming back to play in Wales. 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.

– Leigh Halfpenny, Wales and Scarlets player

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.

– Warren Gatland, Wales Head Coach

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.

– Martyn Phillips, WRU Chief executive
Halfpenny kicks a penalty during the Lions' recent tour to New Zealand. Credit: PA

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. 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.

– Wayne Pivac, Scarlets boss