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Alun Wyn Jones has joined Toulon as World Cup cover, adding to the growing contingent of Wales players plying their trade in France.
The addition of Test rugby’s most-capped player means there are now eight Welsh internationals playing in the top two tiers of French rugby and 10 Welsh players overall.
It’s perhaps not as excessive as the exodus around a decade ago, when the likes of Jamie Roberts, Mike Phillips, Dan Lydiate, Jonathan Davies, James Hook, Lee Byrne and Luke Charteris were all playing in France around the time of the ‘civil war’ back home in Wales.
But the recent problems in the game in this country has seen more players head for the exit doors as budgets tighten and squad sizes fall.
Given the nature of the uncertainty, there’s also an element of players finding their moves late in the day – with many in the second tier of French rugby, the Pro D2.
Here’s all the Welsh players who will be playing in France next year….
Montpellier – Henry Thomas
The new Wales call-up had been told that his place in Warren Gatland’s squad meant he’d have to leave Montpellier, with whom he won the Top 14 title in 2022. However, that stance appears to have changed and the former England international is set to stay with the club.
Racing 92 – Will Rowlands and Regan Grace
There had been fears that Will Rowlands wouldn’t be available for the World Cup, having not yet met the 25-cap threshold to continue playing for his country while employed overseas. However, the PRB stated that his registration will still belong in Wales during the autumn warm-ups, allowing him to win enough caps to carry on at Test level as he h
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