Clermont snap up Byrne
Wales full-back agrees switch to France
Last Updated: 01/02/11 1:37pm
Byrne: Set to join Clermont
Wales full-back Lee Byrne is set to join Ospreys team-mate James Hook in plying his trade in the Top 14 next season.
Hook has agreed to leave for France at the end of the season after signing a long-term deal with Perpignan.
And Byrne is now set to follow suit after agreeing a three-year deal to join Clermont.
"I am excited about what the future holds for me in France, and the challenges that lie ahead for me," he said.
"I am extremely thankful to the directors of the Ospreys for the way that they have handled this, allowing me to look ahead to what will be a fantastic experience for me.
"In the longer term, the Ospreys is my region, and I would like to think that I will be able to return here before my career is over.
"I cannot wait to play alongside players like Aurelien Rougerie, Julien Malzieu and Morgan Parra.
"I am also waiting to discover the French Top 14. It is a very high level of competition, probably one of the most noted in the world."
Lions international Byrne was contracted to the Ospreys until 2012 - but Clermont are believed to have agreed a compensation package with the Ospreys to get their man.
The departure of Byrne will open the door from rising start Gareth Owen and the experienced Barry Davies to make the No.15 jersey their own.