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Wales break 60-cap rule for Thomas Young as Wasps star explains why he’s quitting English rugby

Wales are breaking the Welsh Rugby Union’s 60-cap rule for Thomas Young, who has revealed why he is coming home to Wales after seven seasons in English rugby.

The 29-year-old flanker has signed a long-term deal to rejoin Cardiff, the team where he first came through on the senior scene.

The switch will see one of the Gallagher Premiership’s most dynamic and consistent feature for the Arms Park side once again from next season.

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Wales will see a rapid benefit, with Young being named in Wayne Pivac’s squad for the autumn Tests.

The national head coach has openside flanker issues with Justin Tipuric, James Botham, Josh Macleod and Josh Navidi all on the casualty list, and Young has been cleared to figure in the Wales squad this autumn, despite the 60-cap rule on exiled players.

Just as Rhys Webb was granted dispensation to feature in Pivac’s plans ahead of his return from France, so Young will be part of the Test scene in the coming weeks.

He won’t be available for the New Zealand game on October 30, though, as it falls outside the Test window and there is no release arrangement in place with English clubs. But Pivac is poised to have the option of considering him for the games with South Africa, Fiji and Australia.

The scorer of 35 tries over 141 games for Wasps, Young said: “I’m really excited to have this opportunity at Cardiff and I’m looking forward to returning home to Wales.

“It was a difficult decision to make because I’ve had such an enjoyable time at Wasps and learnt so much, which I remain very grateful for, but I’m also a proud Welshman and the opportunity to stake a claim for further international honours was too great to turn down.

“Once I made that decision, Cardiff was always my preference — this is my hometown club. I am born and bred in the Cynon Valley, I played all of my age-grade rugby for the region and still have a lot of friends here from that time.

“I’m looking forward to linking up with the boys and contributing next season but remain fully committed to Wasps and want to sign off on a high.”

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Young’s switch, which will see him reunite with coach and dad Dai, will help Pivac and come as a significant boost to Cardiff.

Last month, Wasps were said to be bracing themselves for a raid from the Arms Park outfit. Such a turn of events has now played out. English rugby’s loss will undoubtedly be Welsh rugby’s gain, with a top player heading back over the River Severn.

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