The Ospreys are tracking Wales-qualified utility back Michael Collins.

New Zealand-born Collins played 15 times for the Scarlets in 2015-16 before heading home to feature for the Blues in Super Rugby.

He has since switched to the Highlanders and has captained Otago.

Eligible for Wales through a Llanelli-born grandfather, he also qualifies for the All Blacks and for England. Last year he had an excellent campaign for the Highlanders in Super Rugby Aotearoa.

Wayne Pivac enjoyed what he contributed to the Scarlets and so would likely support the idea of the 27-year-old returning to Welsh rugby and potentially putting his hand up for Wales.

And the Ospreys feel Collins could significantly add to their squad.

While they are pleased with the young talent they are developing behind the scrum, a player of Collins’ ability, experience and versatility would strengthen them further.

He came to prominence after his time at the Scarlets with a fine performance at full-back for the Blues in their 22-16 win over the British and Irish Lions in 2017.

But he has also played a lot in the centre, lining up at both 12 and 13. Not only does the former New Zealand U20s player have a fine kicking game, he is also a strong attacker and a leader.

Asked about his international allegiance, he is on record as saying: “It’s one of those things where I don’t want to cross anything off.”

In 2018, he revealed how much he had enjoyed his time in Wale s, saying: “My granddad is a passionate Welshman, so I grew up with a bit of Welsh culture hanging over me.

“Having played there for over a year it’s given me the ambition to represent Wales.”

Pivac saw at close quarters what Hadleigh Parkes did during his time in Wales and the hope might be that Collins could also make an impact.

Right now, it’s the Ospreys who seem keen to offer him an opportunity to do so.

This content was originally published here.