Michael Collins eyeing opportunities in Wales

    2018-07-09 09:09

    Auckland - Blues utility back Michael Collins has signalled a possible return to Wales at the end of his Super Rugby contract in Auckland next year. 

    Collins, 25, who played 16 games for the Scarlets in 2015/16, told The Rugby Paper that he will assess his options at the end of next season. 

    Queenstown-born Collins, is eligible to be considered for selection for either England or Wales. His English connection is through his mother and the Welsh choice is due to his Llanelli-born grandfather. He has played for New Zealand Secondary Schools and New Zealand U20. 

    All four Welsh regions are likely to be interested in attracting Collins. The Cardiff Blues have already expressed an interest in him along with several English clubs. 

    Collins' preference would be to return to the Scarlets. 

    "The Scarlets are all I know in Wales so you are more comfortable going back to what you are familiar with," he said. 

    "I will catch up with Wayne Pivac for a beer while he is back home in New Zealand, but I am sure all the other regional teams have their bonuses too." 

    Pivac is coach of the Llanelli-based side and a frontrunner to follow Warren Gatland as coach of Wales after next year's Rugby World Cup. 

    "For me it will be about going to a team where I will fit in and get game time," added Collins. 

    "I've got some really good mates at the Scarlets in the likes of James Davies, Dylan Evans and Steff Evans. 

    "My granddad is a passionate Welshman so I grew up with a bit of Welsh culture hanging over me. Having played over there for a year it's given me the ambition to represent Wales. 

    "I am a Kiwi and I've always dreamt of playing for the All Blacks, but at the moment I've got more of an ambition to play for Wales rather than New Zealand." 

    Having Gatland's son Bryn in the Blues squad had seen him trying to get more information from him. 

    "The reason I stayed in Super Rugby was to try and develop as much as I can so that if I ever get the chance to play for Wales, or a Welsh region, I will be a much better player," said Collins. 

    "I was pretty close to heading back over to the Scarlets in 2016, but Tana Umaga gave me a call and said there was a spot opening up at the Blues."

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