The England age group star joins the Welsh region five years after being called up from Senior Wales


A player who once turned down a spot on the Wales tour is the second English exile to be unveiled as a new signing by the Dragons in as many days.

Center Max Clark will come on board this summer after agreeing to join the Gwent region from Bath on a long-term deal.

He follows Sean Lonsdale, the Welsh-qualified Exeter back-five forward, as he joins Rodney Parade.

26-year-old Clark was born in Bridgend and his mother is Welsh.

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But he grew up across the bridge, attending Bryanston School in Dorset and representing England at U16, U18 and U20 levels.

He was part of the under-20 team that finished second in New Zealand at the 2015 World Junior Championships and scored the opening try of the final.

After graduating from the academy in Bath, he began to make his mark at senior level in the Premier League, noting for his strong carrying capacity and defensive solidity.

Aware of his suitability by birth and the fact that he was not tied to England through his age-related performances, Warren Gatland’s Wales approached him about heading out on the 2017 summer tour of the South Seas.

But Clark, then 21, turned down the offer, wanting to leave the door a crack open for a call in England and keep his options open.

Now he has decided to devote his future to Welsh rugby by joining the Men of Gwent.

“I’m incredibly excited for what’s to come at Dragons,” he said.

“It’s a new challenge for me and I think it’s what I need to progress as a player.

“Looking ahead to next season’s squad, I have high hopes for our future and look forward to contributing to our success.”

Rugby director Dean Ryan said: “Max is a talented young player who is keen to join us and start a new chapter after spending his entire career at Bath.

“He’s a very ambitious player who really wants to impress in Wales and become an important part of what we’re building for years to come.”

Clark, who is 6ft 3in and weighs 15.10lbs, has played 85 games for Bath, scoring nine tries.

He will become the Dragons’ fifth new recruit ahead of next season, joining Ulster’s Welsh squad hooker Bradley Roberts, Clermont Auvergne utility back JJ Hanrahan, Ospreys prop Rhodri Jones and the versatile Lonsdale.

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