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Jake Ball: Wales leave Scarlets and quit international rugby at end of season |  Rugby news


Jake Ball to join his family in Australia; “It was a huge honor to represent my country, but in the end, I made a huge sacrifice by being without my family for a year.”

Last updated: 12/29/20 14:33 pm

Welsh lock Jake Ball to quit international rugby to join family in Australia

Welsh lock Jake Ball will effectively end his international career by leaving the Scarlets at the end of the season to return to Australia.

The 29-year-old has won 49 caps since making his debut in 2014, becoming one of Wales’ five frontline forwards.

Wales players must pass 60 caps to play for the nation when based abroad in club rugby.

Ball chose to return to Australia for family reasons, however, as his wife Christie gave birth to their fourth child in November. The current PRO14 campaign is due to end in March.

“It was a tough decision to make, but I made it for the family,” Ball said.

“My wife was expecting our fourth child and with Covid around and the players having to be in bubbles and all, we decided that she and the kids should go home for some help and support from the family. around her.

“Max was born last month. There have been Zoom calls and stuff, but I haven’t seen him yet and it has been difficult. As the season progresses it would be quite difficult for me to ask Christie to come back here from her family again.

“The nine seasons I have spent here have been fantastic. I love the Scarlets and playing for Wales has been amazing and I will never forget.

“It was a huge honor to represent my country, but in the end, I made a huge sacrifice by being without my family for a year. I have four children now and I won’t have seen them up close. over a year. “

Jake Ball: Wales leave Scarlets and quit international rugby at end of season |  Rugby news

Ball won 49 caps for Wales after making his international debut in 2014

Ball was born in Berkshire but raised in Australia, qualifying for Wales thanks to his father. After rising to prominence with Western Force, he signed for the Scarlets in 2012.

“I owe a lot to the Scarlets and Welsh rugby,” Ball said.

“I was in the Western Force before, but it was the Scarlets that gave me my first real chance at senior rugby and it will be good to finish off on a high and reward the Scarlets for all they have done for me. over the years.

“I have very special memories and I have to do fantastic things. We won the PRO12, made a European semi-final; there was a Grand Slam and two World Cups with Wales. have no regrets with what i have done here.

“I just hope we can find some supporters at Parc y Scarlets before the end of the season. It would be great to have them here so I can say my goodbyes properly.”

Head coach Glenn Delaney paid tribute to Ball, confirming the Scarlets’ full respect for the lock forward’s decision to put his family first.

“As a club, we fully respect Jake’s decision. Family is an important part of the Scarlets and Jake has sacrificed a lot to be away from Christie and her children for so long,” said Delaney.

“He’s been a wonderful servant for the Scarlets, an exceptional player, a great guy in the squad and has been a fantastic mentor for the young players who are coming up.

“You saw from his performance against the Ospreys on Boxing Day what playing for the Scarlets means to him and hopefully we can have some back supporters at Parc y Scarlets by the end of the season to get him started. he deserves. “





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