Regan Grace scored his 90th try for St Helens in their magical weekend win against Wigan Warriors

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has welcomed rugby player Regan Grace’s move to rugby union.

Winger Grace will leave St Helens at the end of the 2022 Super League season to switch codes to French top-14 side Racing 92.

“The fact that he’s moved to rugby union I think is a really good thing,” Pivac said, confirming his interest in the Port Tolbot-born 25-year-old.

Grace is not yet covered by the 60 cap rule so he can play for Wales.

“I was certainly involved in the discussions around Regan,” Pivak said.

Grace, who played in the 15-man code before joining the Saints, has 90 tries in 144 league games.

“He’s an interesting player, he’s played rugby in the past and obviously he’s a bit of a star in rugby league.”

Regan Grace tackles the Dragons' Jared Rosser for the Ospreys in a Wales under 16 regional game in September 2012.
Regan Grace tackles the Dragons’ Jared Rosser for the Ospreys in a Wales under 16 regional game in September 2012.

Grace began his rugby career with Aberavon RFC and featured in the Ospreys youth teams before moving north and a career that saw him win three Super League titles and a Challenge Cup.

He will move to Paris later this year after turning down a contract extension offer from the reigning rugby league champions and will be unable to play for Wales at the Rugby World Cup in the autumn.

The loss of Wales rugby league coach John Keir could be a major boon for Pivac as well as the player himself.

“We are very interested to see how he plays and obviously there is a lot more money in France,” added Pivac, whose side just beat South Africa on the way to the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Despite the Welsh Rugby Union’s 60-cap rule for overseas players, Grace will be eligible to represent Wales for the duration of his undisclosed deal with Racing.

However, if he earns international selection during his time in Paris, Grace will have to decide whether to move to the Wales region to continue playing for Wales after his current deal expires.

Having moved to St Helens aged 17 in 2014, he is also eligible to play for England under residency rules.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/62114732?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA

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