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Ross Moriarty Insists Brive Offer Was Just Too Good To Turn Down As He Leaves Dragons For France

By David Williams

Ross Moriarty has said he had to quit Welsh rugby to secure financial security for his family.

The Wales back row forward has left the Dragons with immediate effect and joined Brive after rejecting a reduced contract offer from the Newport-based region.

He follows fellow Welsh internationals Will Rowlands, Jarrod Evans and Joe Hawkins in opting to play elsewhere next season as the effect of reduced wages in Wales starts to thin playing resources.

Moriarty will still be available to Wales as his 54 caps places him comfortably above the eligibility threshold of 25 for exiled players.

But it will be a major blow to the Dragons, depriving them of another established Wales forward following the confirmed departure of Rowlands.

The 28-year-old British and Irish Lions tourist said: “I’m sad to be leaving Dragons RFC after five seasons in Newport, but this is an opportunity that I feel I have to take at this time for myself and my young family.

“I leave with many happy memories of my time as a Dragon, and I have made lifelong friends within the squad.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved with the club for their support, especially Dai Flanagan for his understanding with the decision I have made.

“I’ve always loved playing at Rodney Parade in front of the passionate and dedicated fanbase and look forward to returning to see the Dragons in action in the future.

“I’ll continue to follow the fortunes of Dragons very closely and do believe the future is bright. There is a huge amount of exciting young talent within the squad and Dai’s vision is one I am confident will succeed.”

Moriarty’s choice of club in France is a risky one as Brive are facing relegation from the Top 14 at the end of the season.

He will go straight into their relegation battle for the rest of this season as they try and bridge the nine-point gap to the clubs above them.

Moriarty has signed a contract with Brive until 2025.

Dragons head coach Dai Flanagan said: “We’re obviously disappointed to be losing a player of the quality of Ross after we offered him the best possible terms we could to remain with us.

“Ross has made a huge impact at Dragons over the last five seasons, captaining the side on several occasions, giving absolutely everything to the cause and being a fantastic role model to the younger players around him.”

 

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