The long-awaited first appearance of the first New Zealand All Black to play for the Welsh All Blacks has come to fruition. Regan King flew into Heathrow Airport en route to Neath.
The once-capped Kiwi centre is rapidly settling into his new surroundings. He met the squad and trained on Thursday evening and had this message for Neath supporters :
“I’m here, I’m fit and I can’t wait to play – and it’ll be nice to be back in an All Black shirt !
“We are still awaiting transfer clearance from the Australian Rugby Union as I spent the summer playing for ARKS in Western Australia but, as soon as it arrives, I’ll be ready and I am looking forward to it.
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“It is great being back in Wales. I had some happy days with the Scarlets but this is my first time in Neath. And my first impression is very positive. Everybody has been very welcoming and I’ve been fixed up with a job. There’s even a bar here named after my country !
“But it is rugby first and getting the guys going in what I know is an important season. Hopefully I can pass on a bit of my experience to some of the youngsters in the squad and some good New Zealand attitudes which will hold the guys good for the future.”
His clearance arrived in time and Regan King was with the Neath party on Saturday at Swansea – the oldest club fixture in Wales … came on as a replacement and it is all a matter of black and white.