Scarlets coach Wayne Pivac says his new Scottish acquisition Sam Hidalgo-Clyne has every opportunity to relaunch his career at the Llanelli club, in the same way that his outgoing compatriot John Barclay did when he joined in 2013.
The scrum-half is leaving Edinburgh for the reigning Guinness Pro14 champions next season and will hope that the move can reignite international aspirations which were given a boost last week when he was recalled to Gregor Townsend’s summer tour squad.
“I think he is just a fantastic player,” said Pivac of the 24-year-old, who hasn’t featured for Scotland since the 2016 Six Nations. “Every time he has played against us he has caused us all sorts of problems. He caused us headaches.
“That goes back to my first year when Edinburgh beat us down here. I think he has a good all-round game and is a smart, intelligent rugby player. He is a goalkicker and at a pinch he can play in more than one position. He brings a lot.”
The departure of Wales scrum-half Gareth Davies and his understudy Aled Davies opens a door for Hidalgo-Clyne, although the region have also added former Welsh Under-20 No 9 Kieran Hardy.
“Everybody who comes into the squad gets an opportunity and we select what we believe each week to get a result,” said the Kiwi coach. “He will get plenty of rugby time, no question about that. The nines we have get a lot of game time and sort themselves out when it comes to big games. He will have every opportunity to put his hand up.
“We try to get results for our club and put the best team on the field we can. Part of the role is to help players achieve their goals. If we play a part in Sam becoming a success at international level then that will be a fantastic result for all concerned.”
Pivac leads his Scarlets to Scotstoun on Friday hoping to repeat last year’s feat when they became the first side to win away in a Pro12/14 semi-final.
“Over the last few years we have tried to make sure our performances away from home replicate those at home,” said Pivac. “You don’t have that 16th player helping you on but the way we look at it is that it is an atmosphere whether it is home or away.”