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
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
Jackman described it as a "significant signing"
and "a real reinforcement of how players are perceiving this region
"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
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
"Whatever contract that a player is on today, that
contract is protected," said chief executive Martyn Philipps in announcing
"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."