11:09am Wednesday 4th December 2013
By Iwan Gabe Davies
GIFTED Clermont Auvergne centre Regan King is re-joining his old side the Scarlets on a two-year deal at the start of next season.
The former All Black spent six years with the region before leaving Parc y Scarlets in 2011 to join the Top 14 giants who came within an ace of winning the Heineken Cup this year.
His return will go some way to easing the pain of losing British and Irish Lions star Jonathan Davies, who is leaving the Scarlets to head in the opposite direction and join Clermont, also on a two-year contract.
King played in one Test for New Zealand, his one and only cap coming in the 43-17 victory over Wales at the Millennium Stadium in November 2002. The 33-year-old also played for Paris based club Stade Français before leaving the West Walians in the 2005/6 season.
Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby said of King’s homecoming: "To have the quality and experience of a player like Regan King back in our squad next season will be a big positive for our region as a whole.
"Not only will we have secured a rugby player of real quality on the pitch who has played at the top end of European and French rugby for the past two years, but we've also gained the value of a professional who has such rounded experience which can be passed onto others.
"He's shown his inherent quality as a player in his recent performances in the Heineken Cup as well as the domestic French game and is a player any club in Europe would want in their ranks.”
Former Ireland international Easterby added: "What Regan can bring will hopefully inspire our young backs further and thedepth of experience and creativity he's known for will have a positive impact throughout the squad.
“You only have to recall what a big influence he had on early senior careers of Jon (Davies), Rhys (Priestland), Gareth (Maule) and many others in his time with us to recognise that value.
"We're delighted he's returning to Parc y Scarlets, it will be a warm welcome back home for him and his family and we know as a group of coaches and players that he will help add a different dimension and edge to Scarlets Rugby next season.”
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