Wales lock Luke Charteris to leave Newport Gwent Dragons

 

Wales lock Luke Charteris is to leave the Newport Gwent Dragons at the end of the season, the Welsh region have announced.

The 28-year-old, who has been with the Dragons since the inception of regional rugby in 2003, was one of the stand-out performers during Wales' recent march to the World Cup semi-finals, including a towering individual display in the quarter-final win over Ireland which saw him make a remarkable 16 tackles in the first half before being forced off with an injury.

With the 6ft 9in forward's contract running out at the end of the season he had been heavily linked with a move away from Rodney Parade, and he will leave to join an undisclosed European team, with French side Perpignan, home of fellow Wales international James Hook, the favourites to land his signature.

"I've really enjoyed my time at the Dragons," Charteris said. "I have had some amazing team-mates here and the coaching team have been really good to me.

"However, being a professional rugby player gives an opportunity to travel and see the world which I feel I can't pass up.

"The chance to live in a different country and enjoy a new culture and way of life is one not everybody gets. A player's career doesn't last forever and I want to experience as much as I can.

"I have always been very clear that if I was to stay in Wales it would be with the Dragons. This is my region and it has been a really difficult decision to decide to move on.

"I'm only 28 and I see the Dragons as my home team so after a stint abroad I could perhaps come back a better player to Rodney Parade.

"I'd like to thank everybody at the Dragons who has helped and supported me through the ups and downs and especially the Dragons fans. We are really lucky at Rodney Parade to have the supporters we do."

Charteris' decision to ply his trade outside the principality comes just weeks after Wales coach Warren Gatland warned that squad members not playing club rugby in Wales risked missing out on selection for the national side if they could not make themselves available for squad sessions.

Player release for squad members in Wales is covered by the Participation Agreement between the four regions and the Welsh Rugby Union, but clubs in England and France are not obliged to release their players for periods outside the designated International Rugby Board Test windows.

Charteris' exit from the Gwent side may also reignite the debate about the funding of the professional regions.

Cardiff Blues' backs coach Gareth Baber had earlier this week echoed previous calls from Ospreys supremo Scott Johnson that the regions should receive top-ups from the WRU in an effort to enable them to hold on to their best players.

Hook, Mike Phillips and Lee Byrne have already made moves to France, while props Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones have also been linked with moves to French clubs.

Dragons director of rugby Robert Beale said "We are obviously disappointed to be losing a player of Luke's calibre and I'd like to take the opportunity to thank Luke for his services and professionalism whilst at the Dragons."

PA

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments