Dec 5 (Reuters) - Wales flanker Dan Lydiate will leave the Newport Gwent Dragons at the end of the season and join an unnamed European club, the Welsh side said on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old, who missed Wales' recent international defeats with a serious ankle injury, is expected to move to France where clubs are benefiting from extensive financial backing.
Lydiate's international team mates scrum-half Mike Phillips, prop Gethin Jenkins, utility back James Hook and former Dragons lock Luke Charteris all play in France.
"We are obviously very disappointed that Danny has decided to leave the Dragons," Dragons director of rugby Rob Beale told the club's website.
"He has been a key part of our set up for several years and is popular with both the players and the coaches.
"I can assure our supporters that we did all that we could to retain Dan's services but we simply cannot compete with the offers which have been put on the table."
Lydiate was named Six Nations Player-of-the-Tournament as Wales claimed the grand slam earlier this year and he is a likely candidate to make the squad for the British and Irish Lions tour next season. (Reporting By Mark Pangallo. Editing by Patrick Johnston)