Wales winger Alex Cuthbert will put his international career on hold from next season after agreeing a three-year deal with Premiership champions Exeter Chiefs.
Cuthbert has opted to end a seven-year association with Cardiff Blues to make the move to Sandy Park, but with only 47 caps he will not be eligible for future Wales squads.
Warren Gatland’s side have a rule that means only players with 60 or more appearances can be selected for the national team if they play in another country.
Since his debut in December 2011, Cuthbert has claimed two Six Nations titles and the Grand Slam in 2012, scoring 16 tries along the way.
He is unlikely to add to that tally for a while after agreeing a move to England, but he is relishing the challenge at Exeter.
– BREAKING NEWS: @ExeterChiefs are delighted to announce the signing of @WelshRugbyUnion & @lionsofficial winger Alex Cuthbert on a three-year deal from @cardiff_blues ️https://t.co/SZw3yUHC9Z pic.twitter.com/MX4EhpfoIx
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) March 27, 2018
“I’m very excited about the move,” the 2013 British and Irish Lion told Exeter’s official website.
“I’ve played all of my rugby in Wales and I’ve enjoyed some fantastic times over the years, but I feel I’m at a stage in my career where I have to try something different and the challenge of going to Exeter and trying to prove myself in a new environment at the Chiefs is something that really appeals to me.
“Sitting down with [coaches] Rob [Baxter] and Ali [Hepher] I liked what they had to say and where they said the club was looking to go in the future. Like a lot of people, I’ve watched how the Chiefs have not only developed into a force within the English game, but also in Europe as well over the last few years.
47 Wales caps
2 Six Nations titles
1 Grand Slam
1 Lions Test series
— Cardiff Blues (@cardiff_blues) March 27, 2018
“They are champions of England at the moment, they are going very well again this season, and when you look at the squad they have down there, you can see it’s got a lot of talent within it and one which wants to really achieve things together.
“As I said, it’s an exciting move for me, but also one in which I genuinely think I can get better with.
“I still feel at my age I have a lot to offer and by moving to Exeter, hopefully the coaches down there can help bring even more out in my game.”
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