Will Rowlands to leave Wasps to keep Wales dream alive

The Dragons have confirmed the signing of Wasps lock Will Rowlands on ‘a long-term contract’.

Rowlands has ensured he will continue to be able to play for Wales when his current contract at the Ricoh Arena expires this summer.

The 29-year-old would have been barred from Wales selection under the WRU’s 60-cap policy, which restricts players who play their club rugby outside the four regions from representing Wales if they fall under the threshold.

Rowlands’ pending arrival at Rodney Parade has been a deal both the Dragons and WRU have worked to get over the line for some time. Last August, TRP reported Dragons director of rugby Dean Ryan had made the five-time capped forward his top priority in recruitment.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac is also understood to have made two attempts to sign Rowlands during his time as head coach at the Scarlets.

“It’s a new chapter for me,” he said.

“I’m very excited by the move. Having only played my rugby at one club, so I’m looking forward to some new experiences and challenging myself in a new environment.

“It’s a young group at Dragons with some real potential that has already made good strides forward under Dean [Ryan] and the rest of the coaches.”

Rowlands follows Exeter Chiefs prop Tomas Francis in swapping the Premiership for the PRO14 at the end of the season, after the latter finalised terms with the Ospreys earlier this month.

Dragons boss Ryan said: “Will is a proven force who has produced consistent and impressive performances for Wasps in the English Premiership over a number of years.

“He’s an athletic and powerful second row who has also shown his ability to be making the step up to international level with Wales over the last 12 months.”

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