In a major statement of intent, Head Coach Bernard Jackman has secured the marquee signing of British & Irish Lions tourist and Wales star Ross Moriarty on a two-year deal with the Dragons.
The 23-year-old will arrive at Rodney Parade next season, strengthening the back-row with his dynamic style, after signing a contract directly with the region over the weekend.
“It is with much excitement that I am able to announce the completion of my transfer to Welsh regional side, the Dragons,” commented Ross, who is renowned for his big tackles, impressive carries and devastating breaks.
“After meeting with 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.”
The son of former international Paul Moriarty, who won 21-caps for Wales, and nephew to Richard who played 22-times for his country, Ross was selected for international honours for England at age grade level, but opted for Wales and made his debut against Ireland in August 2015, scoring his first international try later that season against Italy on his Six Nations debut.
Twice voted Young player of the year by Gloucester’s supporters, his excellent form for club and country earned him a call-up for the British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand last summer. The Welsh international was selected for the Lions’ opening match against New Zealand Provincial Barbarians and made a valuable contribution helping set up a try, but was ruled out of further action for the tourists due to injury.
“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,” Moriarty added. “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 joins fellow Welsh internationals Elliot Dee and Leon Brown, as well as home-grown talent Jack Dixon who have all recently put pen to paper to extend their time with the Dragons.
“I am delighted to have been able to convince Ross to join us as we build our team for the future,” added Dragons Head Coach Bernard 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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