Wales summer tour: Dragons expect no Ross Moriarty eligibility 'issues'
Dragons head coach Bernard Jackman expects Ross Moriarty to be available for Wales’ summer tour as planned.
Wales’ Test on 2 June is outside the official window and three English-based players have been withdrawn on Premiership Rugby Limited’s request.
Back-row Moriarty, 24, is leaving Gloucester after signing for Dragons.
“I would imagine that the fact that he’s contracted to a Welsh region now, I would hope and expect that he’d be available for the tour,” Jackman said.
“A couple of weeks ago he just spoke about how excited he was to get back in a Welsh camp and hopefully have a very good tour.
“I haven’t heard anything about any issues with that.”
Bath lock Luke Charteris, Exeter prop Tomas Francis and Worcester wing Josh Adams are not eligible to play against South Africa in Washington, USA, on 2 June as the match is not being held on World Rugby’s official Test dates.
The trio are eligible for Wales’ following two Tests in Argentina on 9 and 16 June, but Wales coach Warren Gatland has said he needs a full squad available for the whole tour as he prepares for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
Like Moriarty – who has won 20 Wales caps – fellow British and Irish Lion George North is joining a Welsh side from an English club, with Northampton confirming they are “in open discussions” with the Ospreys-bound wing to end his contract early so he can tour with Wales.
Gloucester have been contacted by BBC Sport Wales to confirm their view on Moriarty’s eligibility.
Premiership Rugby’s stance means that Ospreys prop Rhodri Jones plus the uncapped Dragons pair of wing Ashton Hewitt and back-row Aaron Wainwright are added to the Wales squad.
Jackman says that an increasing number of international call-ups for his Dragons players – especially among those who have come through the ranks at Rodney Parade – shows the region is building strength in depth.
“We’re absolutely delighted. Over the last 12 months Ollie Griffiths, Elliot Dee and Leon Brown have graduated from our academy into our senior team and won caps for Wales,” Jackman told BBC Sport Wales.
“So if Ashton and Aaron can manage to do that on this summer tour, that just reinforces what we believe we have at the region – which is a talented group of young lads.
“If you look at the squad when I started, we only had 99 caps in total – all the other regions [Cardiff Blues, Ospreys and Scarlets] had more than 450.
“I felt that we were lacking that experience that you get from training and playing with better quality players and being in pressurised environments.
“Certainly my objective this year was to try and readjust that balance without having a big cheque book, so the way to do that was to get players from within our squad to feature in international camps.
“Next season we’re starting with just under 250 caps, so we’ve more than doubled that and spread around more players… that’s huge.”
As well as Moriarty’s arrival, Dragons have signed experienced internationals such as Ryan Bevington, Richard Hibbard, Aaron Jarvis, Brandon Nansen, Rhodri Williams and Dafydd Howells, as they seek to improve on this season’s second-bottom finish in Pro14 Conference B.