St Helens winger Regan Grace has turned down a contract extension to sign for French rugby union side Racing 92, the Super League champions have announced.
The 25-year-old Wales international will link up with the Top 14 outfit at the end of the domestic season.
The announcement ends considerable speculation over Port Talbot-born Grace’s future with a number of English and Welsh clubs in the 15-man code having been linked with his services.
Grace told saintsrlfc.com: “I want to thank everyone at St Helens for bringing me up here and taking a risk on a young kid from Wales. It was a big move for me and I have loved every minute of being here.
“The town has been a big part of my life. I have spent my entire adult life here and it has become my home. It was such a hard decision to leave because of those emotions, but I want to go and test myself and experience a new challenge.
“To win three Super League titles and a Challenge Cup has been a dream come true and my full focus is now ensuring we win a fourth title at the end of the year.”
Grace played both league and union at youth level before opting to sign for Saints at the age of 17 in 2014.
After making a try-scoring Super League debut against rivals Wigan in 2017, he has gone on to cross 86 times in 138 appearances for Saints.
His decision to move at the end of the Super League season means he will not be available to represent Wales in this year’s Rugby League World Cup.
Club Statement | Regan Grace will leave the Saints at the end of the current Betfred Super League season to join Racing 92 in French rugby union's Top 14 competition.
The Club is disappointed to see Regan move on, but we all wish him well in his future career.#COYS
— St.Helens R.F.C. (@Saints1890) July 5, 2022
Saints chairman Eamonn McManus said: “Regan has been an exciting and important contributor to the major successes of the Saints in recent years.
“We clearly very much wanted him to stay at the Saints and in Super League in the years ahead.
“However, we fully accept and respect his decision to pursue a new career, life and lifestyle in France and wish him and his family every happiness and success.”