Rugby

Moriarty returns to Wales to keep Test career alive

2017-11-27 16:57
Ross Moriarty (Getty Images)

London - Wales and Gloucester backrow Ross Moriarty has signed a two-year deal to join Pro14 side Dragons next season in a move aimed at keeping his international career alive.

Moriarty, 23, would have been left ineligible for Test selection under new Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) policies had he remained in the English Premiership. 

The WRU announced last week that George North would leave Northampton at the end of the season and return to Wales. 

"After meeting with (Dragons head coach) Bernard Jackman, I was excited by the future plans of the club as the region looks to begin a new chapter in its history," said British and Irish Lions forward Moriarty, who has 17 Test caps. 

"Playing international rugby is the pinnacle of every player's career and with the new rules, it left me with no choice but to move to Wales to further my international ambitions, especially with the Rugby World Cup ahead." 

Jackman described it as a "significant signing" and "a real reinforcement of how players are perceiving this region now". 

"He is the perfect fit for us in terms of the type of player that we are looking to add to our squad in that he is young, ambitious, Welsh and very talented." 

Welsh rugby chiefs last month announced changes to their international selection policy in an attempt to stem the exodus of talent from the country. 

No player with fewer than 60 caps will be selected for Wales if they ply their trade outside of the country. 

An exception to the rule is call-ups for uncapped players currently contracted outside of Wales - to keep their eligibility a newly capped player will be required to return to Wales at the expiration of their deal. 

"Whatever contract that a player is on today, that contract is protected," said chief executive Martyn Philipps in announcing the changes. 

"When that contract expires and if the player has fewer than 60 caps, they would not be eligible for selection. If they have 60 or more caps and they are outside Wales they would be."

Read more on:    wales  |  rugby
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