Top 14
Charteris turned down English offers to stay in France
ESPN Staff
June 29, 2014
Wales' Luke Charteris looks for support, Wales v Namibia, Rugby World Cup, Stadium Taranaki, New Plymouth, New Zealand, September 26, 2011
Charteris has 48 caps for Wales © Getty Images

Luke Charteris has revealed that he turned down offers to play in England in order to prolong his international career with Wales.

The lock, who has signed for French side Racing Metro, said he decided against moving to the Aviva Premiership because it would have made it difficult for him to join up with the Wales squad.

Charteris became available this summer after his former club Perpignan were relegated from the Top 14, triggering a release clause in his contract. But with the impasse between the WRU and the regions making a return to Wales almost impossible, and English clubs taking a hardline approach to releasing players outside designated Test windows, Charteris opted to stay in France.

"There were options to go to England but it was not something I really looked into because I wanted to play for Wales and it is quite hard to do that playing in the Premiership," Charteris told the Rugby Paper. "I do not have full release with Racing because of the time of year I was negotiating my deal, but it's more flexible than it would be in England.

"The coaches there have told me provided they do not have injuries they are happy for me to go with Wales."

Charteris will join fellow Wales internationals Dan Lydiate, Jamie Roberts and Mike Phillips at Racing next season, but he admitted he would have jumped at the chance to go home to Wales.

"It was not the ideal time to come out of contract with the way things are going in Wales," he said. "I would have looked to come back for a central contract but it was not an option.

"The only offer in Wales I had was from the Dragons as it was the end of the season and the regions had done all their recruitment. But Racing are a good squad, there are a few familiar faces and that will help me settle in."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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