Super Rugby Pacific: Wales international Johnny McNicholl returns to injury-plagued Crusaders

Wales international Johnny McNicholl will play in Super Rugby Pacific for the Crusaders this season, with the NZ-born outside back returning home after asking to be released early from his Scarlets contract.

McNicholl, 33, will join former Scarlets and Wales teammate Leigh Halfpenny at the Crusaders, though the latter is currently sidelined with injury and has had to sit idle, as the side suffered back-to-back defeats at the start of the season.

Johnny McNicholl in action for Wales.
Johnny McNicholl in action for Wales. Photo credit: Getty Images

McNicholl left the Crusaders to join Scarlets in 2016 and won the first of his 10 Wales caps four years later, after serving his residency period. He last played international rugby in 2022.

"I'm really looking forward to running out in front of the home crowd again," he said. "I didn't think I'd get that opportunity again so it's pretty special.

"It's also great for me and my family to be coming back home after a decent stint overseas."

He has been brought in as cover for New Zealand international Will Jordan, who will miss the entire Super Rugby season, after shoulder surgery last month.

"Johnny's a top-notch operator with proven experience and like any good fullback, he has the potential to produce magic from anywhere on the field," said Crusaders coach Rob Penney.


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