By Hannah Blackwell
Welsh flyer Regan Grace is set to embark on a French adventure following an impressive 6-year stint in the Super League playing for St Helens.
The winger from Port Talbot has scored 84 tries in 133 games for the saints in what has been a dazzling few years at the club and he will be hoping to add a few more to his tally before the end of the season.
Grace will be linking up with the likes of Finn Russell, Virimi Vakatawa and Juan Imhoff, where his twinkle toes will not be out of place under the lights of Paris.
Welsh international Grace has turned down a contract extension from Super League side St Helens to join Top 14 rugby union side Racing 92.
Grace, who made his debut for St Helens in 2017, has made the decision to join Racing 92 at the end of the 2022 Super League season and return to the 15-man code he played as an amateur.
Having scored 89 tries in 143 games, Grace has been a stand-out star in the Super League, winning three Grand Finals and a Challenge Cup with the Saints.
“And of course, I want to thank all the St Helens fans, in particular the Imperial Exiles who sponsored me and looked after me when I first came over. Thanks also to the Donnellys and my partner’s family too who have all played their part and help me feel at home.
“The town has been a big part of my life. I have spent my entire adult life here and it has become my home. It was such a hard decision to leave because of those emotions, but I want to go and test myself and experience a new challenge.
“To win three Super League titles and a Challenge Cup has been a dream come true and my full focus is now ensuring we win a fourth title at the end of the year.”
Grace has been linked with a potential move to union for a while, while St Helens head coach Kristian Woolf made his desire clear to keep the quick-paced winger at the club.
Grace’s move comes as a big blow to Wales who will now be without him for this Autumn’s Rugby League World Cup.
St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus added: “Regan has been an exciting and important contributor to the major successes of the Saints in recent years.
“We clearly very much wanted him to stay at the Saints and in Super League in the years ahead.
“However, we fully accept and respect his decision to pursue a new career, life and lifestyle in France and wish him and his family every happiness and success.”