Ross Moriarty to leave Gloucester at end of season

British and Irish Lions' Ross Moriarty is leaving Gloucester
British and Irish Lions' Ross Moriarty is leaving Gloucester

Ross Moriarty will end his stint with Gloucester at the end of the season and will head to Welsh regional side Dragons in order to continue his international career with Wales.

The 23-year-old, who has signed a two-year contract with the Pro 14 side would have become ineligible to represent Wales had he remained with Gloucester according to the latest selection policy adopted by the Welsh Rugby Union.

"It is with much excitement that I am able to announce the completion of my transfer to Welsh regional side, the Dragons," said Moriarty.

"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.

"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.

"I would like to thank Gloucester, specifically the players and coaching staff, for their continued support throughout my seven years at the club as well as Hartpury College who provided me with the foundations to achieve my goals.

"Furthermore, I would like to thank the fans for their continued support. They have made the decision to move to Wales extremely difficult.

"I am now looking forward to finishing the season off strongly and teaming up with Bernard Jackman and the Dragons at the start of next season."

Moriarty follows George North, who has announced his decision to switch from Northampton at the end of the ongoing season, though it is yet to be confirmed which of the Welsh regional side he will be joining.

Dragons boss Bernard Jackman hailed Moriarty's signing as a genuine coup for the Newport region.

"I am delighted to have been able to convince Ross to join us as we build our team for the future," said Jackman.

"It's 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.

"We are building a team for the long term and to be able to get a player of Ross's calibre, who is only 23, is an example of that.

"Speaking to Ross it's clear that we have the same values and philosophies on how the game should be played and I know that he will add to the local talent that's already here.

"We are proud of the fact that some more Dragons are now starting to break into the Welsh squad and we will continue to work hard to develop more international players from within and that will be easier when they have the chance to work day in and day out with world-class players like Ross."

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