THE Scarlets have brought Leigh Halfpenny back to Wales on a three-year national dual contract.

The 28-year-old Lions full-back is returning after three years in France with European heavyweights Toulon.

The former Cardiff Blues ace, from Gorseinon, has signed for the Guinness PRO14 champions and will replace international teammate Liam Williams.

“I’m delighted to be coming back to play in Wales,” said Halfpenny. “I would like to thank the Scarlets and the WRU for giving me the opportunity to sign a National Dual Contract and can't wait to get started.”

“It is great news for Welsh rugby that Leigh Halfpenny is returning to play his rugby in Wales,” said Wales boss Warren Gatland. “The NDC system helps us to bring these players back and I look forward to seeing him play for the Scarlets.”

Wayne Pivac, who guided the Scarlets to Guinness Pro12 glory last season, believes Halfpenny is a vital piece in the Scarlets jigsaw as he looks to bring future success to the region.

“Leigh joining is great news for the club, the supporters, the team and the region as a whole,” said the New Zealander.

“With the experience of Liam [Williams] and DTH [van der Merwe] moving on at the end of last season we’ve added some new players to the squad, some exciting young talent, and a guy like Leigh brings a lot of experience to the squad that he will share with those young players.

“It has worked out really well and we look forward to welcoming Leigh and he’s really excited to be joining the Scarlets because of the way we play the game.”