Dragons lock and captain Luke Charteris will be leaving the region at the end of the season to take up a contract with an undisclosed European team.
Luke has been at the Dragons since the inception of regional rugby, playing a decade of rugby at Rodney Parade and has been a favourite with both his teammates and the Dragons supporters.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at the Dragons,” he said. “I have had some amazing teammates 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.”
But Charteris’ job at Rodney Parade is by no means over with 5 months left of the season left.
“Make no mistake, I’m a Dragon and will be until the final whistle blows on our last game of the season. I am concentrating on my rehab and getting back on the pitch for my team as soon as possible. We have great ambition for this season, especially with the run of home games we now have and I’ll be pushing the boys as much as I can towards that European quarter final spot.”
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.”
There will be no further comment from Luke on this issue at this time