Willis Halaholo: Wales centre signs new Cardiff Blues deal

Willis Halaholo in action against Scarlets
Since arriving in the Welsh capital on the back of a Super Rugby title with the Hurricanes, Willis Halaholo has become a central figure in the Cardiff Blues midfield

New Wales centre Willis Halaholo has signed a long-term deal to stay at Cardiff Blues.

Halaholo, 30, made his international debut as a replacement against Scotland in the 25-24 Six Nations victory at Murrayfield.

The New Zealand-born centre arrived in Cardiff in 2016 and qualified to play for Wales through residency in 2019.

"From the moment we arrived here, the welcome has been unreal and this truly feels like home.," said Halaholo.

"My family and I love it here in Cardiff and I cannot wait to run out at the Arms Park in front of our incredible supporters once again.

"With Dai Young coming in as director of rugby and such an exciting and developing squad, it was a simple decision for me to make.

"We are heading in the right direction and I'm looking forward to competing and challenging in every game and competition we play.

"Now I am focussed on taking my game to the next level."

Halaholo missed out on international honours due to a knee injury in 2019 and missed almost a year of action.

"It was a long road back from my knee injury but I feel I am rediscovering my previous form and there is definitely more to come," said Halaholo

"I am just really happy I get to do that in a Cardiff Blues jersey and with a group of players, staff and supporters who have become a family."

Halaholo played an instrumental role in the 2018 European Challenge Cup triumph and has made 76 appearances for the region, scoring 15 tries.

"Everyone knows Willis' ability as a player, he carries hard, has electric feet and is a quality defender," said Cardiff Blues interim director of rugby Dai Young.

"He is the kind of player that gives the opposition headaches as you don't know what he's going to do. He certainly has that X-factor and it's important to have those game changers.

"It was great to see him called up by Wales and I was impressed with his performance in Scotland, where he made a big impression and displayed real maturity and leadership.

"We wish him all the best for the remainder of the Six Nations and hope he gets further opportunities, before welcoming him back to the Arms Park.

"He has a big future here as a key figure in our group and someone who can continue to improve and build on his game."

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