Planet Rugby

Davies will be missed - Howley

12th November 2013 14:20

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Rob Howley Wales Six Nations win 2013

Disappointed: Howley

Wales assistant coach Rob Howley has reacted to Tuesday's news that Jonathan Davies will leave Scarlets for Clermont in 2014.

Howley, a former Wales and British and Irish Lions scrum-half, believes the loss of Davies from Welsh club rugby is a huge blow for the national side.

"I think it's a big blow for Wales," Howley told Wales Online.

"I was with Jon in 2009, he played his debut in Canada.

"He has come on a fair way since then. He was a bit like a rabbit in headlights there but in the summer he was exceptional for the Lions.

"Jon has been outstanding on and off the field and he will be sorely missed.

"The Scarlets did all they could and I have been aware of the decision Jon wanted to make.

"But he is ambitious and he's gone to a side he feels will be right up there in European rugby."

Reassuringly for Welsh fans, Howley revealed Davies has negotiated full international release for Wales' November Tests next year.

"Once we knew he was leaving, Wales release was our primary concern and he has that," confirmed Howley.

"He will be fully available for Wales in the November Tests next year."

But Howley was keen to stress the importance of keeping the nation's best players in their home country.

"We want our players in Wales," acknowledged Howley.

"The facilities we have here are amazing and we want to be able to work with the regions' conditioning staff and physios.

"Also Welsh supporters want to watch the best and so do we. We don't want to go to France or England to watch our players."

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