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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 April, 2003, 21:05 GMT 22:05 UK
James heads for Bourgoin
Matt James' move follows Kevin Morgan's arrival at Ponty/Bridgend

Bridgend and Wales A full-back Matt James will pursue his career with French outfit Bourgoin next season.

The news follows Kevin Morgan's switch from Swansea to the new Pontypridd/Bridgend regional side, a transfer that left James, Brett Davey, Siua Taumalolo and Gareth Cull contesting the one remaining full-back berth in the squad.

James told BBC Wales Sport: "It's a new challenge on new grounds in a new setting.

"I'm a great admirer of running rugby and I thought that playing there would enhance my game.

"Bourgoin are on the verge of qualifying for the Heineken Cup for next season and that should keep me in the eyes of the Welsh selectors."

It is understood that the approach to James came through Bridgend fly-half Simon Mannix, a friend of Bourgoin coach Philippe Saint Andre.

Ravens coach Allan Lewis expressed his disappointment at the breaking up of a Bridgend squad he sees as the club's strongest in years.

"The naming of the regional squad is a difficult process," he said.

"Look at the quality of players at Bridgend and in Pontypridd and try to reduce that to 30."

Lewis said that the process of selection was ongoing, but that they hoped to make the final decisions by Monday.

  • Ebbw Vale prop Martin Jones has agreed to join the Bridgend/Pontypridd squad for next season.

    He will fill the void left by Duncan Bell's departure to Bath.

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