Scarlets sign Blade Thomson, a back row forward, from Hurricanes

Blade Thomson
Hurricanes back row Blade Thomson has played club rugby for Taranaki

Scarlets have signed Hurricanes back row Blade Thomson for 2018-19.

The 27-year-old has won four caps for the Maori All Blacks and is a former New Zealand Under-20s international.

Thomson made a return to the Hurricanes squad over the weekend having missed last season with a shoulder injury.

Wales centre Scott Williams, Scotland captain John Barclay, Wales scrum-half Aled Davies and Irish lock Tadhg Beirne are all set to leave the Llanelli-based region at the end of the season.

"He is a very athletic, no-nonsense player with a big engine who will be an effective ball carrier both in the wide channels as well as in the middle of the park," said Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac.

"Blade is highly regarded in New Zealand. An untimely injury impacted on his rugby in the last six months but he's certainly a physical player who possesses the skillset to play the Scarlets way."

Thomson said he is "very excited" to be joining the defending Pro14 title holders.

Meanwhile, Scarlets back-rower Jack Condy has been forced to retire at the age of 23 because of a knee injury.