Charteris: Overseas lure proved too much
December 17, 2011
Luke Charteris' signature is in demand © Getty Images
Wales international Luke Charteris admits that the chance to experience rugby in a different country proved to be too much of a draw as he prepares to leave the Dragons at the end of the season.
The Dragons confirmed on Thursday that the 28-year-old will leave Rodney Parade at the end of the current campaign with Perpignan and an unnamed Super Rugby franchise chasing the lock's signature. And with the likes of Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones also rumoured to be casting their eye across the channel, Charteris' agent, Christian Abt, claims that one key stipulation in his new contract will be a clause to allow the lock to link up with Wales.
"We have been in numerous discussions with the Dragons," Abt told Wales Online. "Our intention was to renew there. Unfortunately we haven't been able to come to suitable terms.
"The Dragons put their best effort forward. Unfortunately it wasn't necessarily enough given the set-up within Wales. As a result of that, we are quite far down the line in terms of a number of other options for Luke. But it's quite complicated because we need to ensure that his Wales interests are still best served by getting the necessary releases in whatever contract he signs.
"Perpignan is one of the clubs that has shown significant interest. We have had discussions with them. Like I said, it is quite complicated given the releases we are trying to build into the contract, so that everybody is aware what the obligations are.
"We are also speaking to a couple of other franchises. We have had interest from one Super 15 franchise and also from a Japanese organisation."
And Charteris is adamant that he will give his all to the Dragons until the end of the season and claims he would like to return to Rodney Parade before the end of his career. "I've really enjoyed my time at the Dragons," he 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. Make no mistake, I'm a Dragon and will be until the final whistle blows on our last game of the season."
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