Gilbert Rugby ambassador Jake Ball has secured his future in Wales by signing a National Dual Contract (NDC) with Scarlets and the Welsh Rugby Union.
Ball, 23, who made his Wales debut in the 2014 RBS Six Nations against Ireland, has played eight times in total for his country.
The news will provide relief to both Ball’s region and country, with many players having left Wales in recent times to ply their trade in France and England.
Other Wales players that have recently signed NDC’s include Sam Warburton, Dan Lydiate, Tyler Morgan, Hallam Amos and Rhodri Jones, with more expected to sign in the near future.
Ball was delighted to put pen to paper. "It's been a fantastic year for me, I'm still taking everything step by step and want to perform as well as I can for the Scarlets to put my hand up for selection for the Six Nations.”
“The NDC was a big factor in my decision, as I get to work hand in hand with the management at the Welsh Rugby Union as well as the Scarlets” Ball said.
Warren Gatland – Ball’s coach at international level – suggested the second row was in high demand.
"A player of Jake's calibre and age attracted serious interest from outside of Wales, but the introduction of NDCs means another Wales international has committed his future to Wales and his region" Gatland said.
Ball, who has played 10 games for Scarlets this season, will be looking forward to a successful year, with a second RBS 6 Nations around the corner, to be closely followed by the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Jake Ball is a Gilbert Rugby ambassador. He currently wears the Gilbert ProFly Boots, Gilbert Xact Headguard
and the Gilbert Chieftain V2 Body Armour