Jamie Roberts joins Lydiate over Wales release from Racing Metro

Jamie Roberts

Jamie Roberts has joined Dan Lydiate in revealing he will be available to play for Wales after signing for Racing Metro in France.

Roberts and fellow Lions and Wales Test player Lydiate have both signed to play for the Paris-based side in the Top 14.

Wales coach Warren Gatland has told Welsh players to have a clause in their contract to stop them being caught up in any player-release rows.

"We're available for all training and all matches," said centre Roberts.

The 26-year-old, who has moved to Racing from Cardiff Blues, added: "The important thing is if you want to carry on playing international rugby you get full international release in your contract .

"And I know myself and Dan have ensured that with Racing Metro."

Former Newport Gwent Dragons flanker Lydiate had earlier stated: "I had to make sure I was still available for Wales and I did do that."

Welsh players based in France and England have become embroiled in player-release rows over the years and missed Wales Test matches and training camps.

Lock Luke Charteris, a former Wales Newport Gwent Dragons team-mate of Lydiate, was the first to publicly state he had secured "full release" for Wales playing and training squads when he joined French club Perpignan in 2012.

Lydiate reveals he talked to Gatland about the issue and is available for Wales, but his focus is on playing well for his new club to ensure he is selected for his country.

"I spoke to Warren before coming out here," said Lydiate.

"I had to make sure I was still available for Wales and I did do that. Hopefully, it will work well, but I am looking forward to playing with a new set of players and with new coaches.

"They [the Welsh Rugby Union] will work closely with the club, but obviously you are at a slight disadvantage because the coaches are not able to watch you every week.

"I just hope if I am playing well enough that they will still pick me. There is a massive onus on myself to make sure I am playing well out here, and if Racing are successful there is a big chance I will still be selected for Wales."

Lydiate, Roberts and Lions team-mate Jonathan Sexton have all been recruited by Racing Metro as they bid to become a major force in the Top 14 and the Heineken Cup.

Lydiate is expected to make his competitive debut for Racing Metro in their Top 14 opener against Brive on Saturday, 18 August.

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