Wales lock Luke Charteris set to join Bath from Racing 92

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport
Luke Charteris
Luke Charteris made his Wales debut against South Africa in 2004

Wales second-row Luke Charteris is set to join Bath from Racing 92 on a three-year contract.

Charteris left Newport Gwent Dragons for Perpignan in 2012 and then signed for Racing 92 in 2014.

The 62-cap, 6ft 9in player is out of contract at the end of the 2015-16 season and would then join the Premiership club.

Gloucester had also held discussions with the 32-year-old, while the Dragons had hoped to re-sign him.

Racing and Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips believes Charteris' departure would be a blow for the French club.

"If we do lose his talents then obviously it is a massive loss. He is one of Wales' best players at the moment," he said.

"There are not many 6ft 9in guys who can make as many tackles as he makes - 18 or 20 tackles [a game].

"He carries balls, he scrummages well, he can do everything on the rugby field and is such an athlete."

Newport Gwent Dragons coach Kingsley Jones said they would like to re-sign Charteris, but feared they would be outbid by English and French clubs.

Bath already have a Wales lock in their squad. Dominic Day joined the club in 2012 and signed a contract extension with them in January 2015.

In October, last season's Premiership runners-up missed out on the signing of Dragons back-row forward Taulupe Faletau after Wales coach Warren Gatland blocked the move.

Wales fly-half Rhys Priestland is also at Bath and concentrating on his club career during a sabbatical from Test rugby.