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Wales international Lee Byrne signs three-year contract with Clermont Auvergne

Wales full-back Lee Byrne will sign a three-year deal with Clermont Auvergne at the end of the season.

In an exlusive interview with ITV Wales Byrne has confirmed he will play for  the Top 14 club after the World Cup.

Lee Byrne spoke exclusively to ITV Wales about his move to the French club

Byrne joins fellow Osprey James Hook who announced last week he has agreed a three-year contract with French side Perpignan.

Byrne, who’s won 38 caps, said: “It’s going to be a culture change as well. I’m really looking forward to it.

“Wales is such a small place sometimes that sometimes you want to switch off. (But) In Wales you can’t.

“You read the papers and there’s a lot of negative stuff in there. It will just be nice to move away and switch off from all that.”

Scarlets centre Regan King is also set to make to the move to Clermont Auvergne.

WATCH Richard Morgan’s interview with Lee Byrne on ITV.com/Wales

Ospreys Managing Director, Mike Cuddy, explained: “First and foremost, the Ospreys are about developing local talent, and producing players not only for the region, but for the national team also.

“As such, it is extremely disappointing to lose a player who hails from the region, and who has been, and continues to be, an excellent servant to the Ospreys.

“Our determination to keep Lee at the Ospreys meant that we fought hard to keep him here, turning down a similar request twelve months ago, but unfortunately, the circumstances are such that we now find ourselves in this position where we have reluctantly agreed to release Lee, given his desire to take on a fresh challenge following the Rugby World Cup later this year.

“We would not have seen much of Lee next season, when he will be 31, and for him to have the security of a three-year contract and the change of lifestyle that this move will allow him is a fantastic personal opportunity and we wish him the best of luck.

“Between now and the end of the season, I have no doubt that he will continue to give the Ospreys the same unquestionable commitment he always has in his time with us.”

Byrne signed for the Ospreys in the summer of 2006 from the Scarlets, making his debut for the region with a try in the 17-11 win over Edinburgh at the Liberty Stadium on the opening weekend of the 2006/07 campaign.

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About Tim Hart

Cardiff University Postgraduate Student

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