Luke Charteris: I'm a better player for moving to France

South Wales Argus: RARING TO GO: Former Dragons captain Luke Charteris RARING TO GO: Former Dragons captain Luke Charteris

WALES v SAMOA (Friday, KO 7.30)

FORMER Newport Gwent Dragons star Luke Charteris says his move to France away from life at Rodney Parade has made him a better player.

The 6ft 9in and 19st 10lb giant joined Top 14 aristocrats Perpignan in the summer where he has linked up with another Wales ace in James Hook.

Charteris joined the Wales squad yesterday after playing for his club on the weekend in their 15-3 away defeat to Biarritz and his ex-Drag-ons comrade Aled Brew who was on the wing.

The second row will be looking to win his 38th cap this Friday when Samoa come to Cardiff looking to avenge last year’s controversial 17-10 World Cup defeat to Wales in New Zealand.

Charteris’ return to the Wales squad is a timely one with fellow lock Alun Wyn Jones having to leave the field on the stroke of half-time during last Saturday’s shock 26-12 mauling at the hands of Argentina’s Pumas.

The Ospreys captain was due to have a scan on his shoulder yesterday to discover the extent of the damage.

Whatever the outcome, 29-year-old Charters is raring to face the formidable Pacific Islanders, his move to the Catalan super club having reinvigorated his desire.

“I’m enjoying myself over there and having a good time,” he said.

“It’s nice now to switch back and focus on Wales and hopefully get a chance to play.”

On the difference between the standard of Top 14 rugby with Perpignan and life in the RaboDirect Pro 12 with the Dragons, Chartetris said: “I don’t think the physicality is any different really.

“What I have found is the quality of the people you are playing against, it seems to be better.

“I’ve been involved in some really good games, some very enjoyable games which have been good fun to play in. I’ve had a good run of not being injured, playing 80 minutes regularly over in France.”

But he is in doubt that his game is improving: “Personally I think my game has come on since I have been there over the last four months.

“I feel I have improved as a player, my confidence is pretty good, playing every week in a good team in a tough league.

“It’s not taking away from the Rabo – that’s a tough league as well.

“But I think personally, for me to be able to put a good string of games together is what’s important.

“The way we are playing in Perpignan is very much an attacking, offloading game and we are encouraged to run from everywhere.

“My ball skills, ball handling and offloading has improved which has fit in to how I play. It’s certainly more enjoyable to play.”

He added: “The rugby is brilliant but the lifestyle is another thing as well.

“The people are so friendly, it’s such a great place and with the weather. When I left Perpignan on the weekend, I was still wearing shorts and T-shirt in the middle of November.

“It’s about little things like that. When you’ve been living Wales for so long, it’s a nice change. The weather allows for a different lifestyle.”

On Samoa, Charteris said: “We know it’s going to be a tough game. Honestly, the boys say that was our hardest game in the World Cup.

“It was a very physical game, very fast game. They like to throw it around and we know it’s going to be a tough game again this week.

“It went down to the last minute against them last time.”

Comments (10)

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8:16am Tue 13 Nov 12

Dai the Milk says...

The player trickle is about to become a haemorrhage. The WRU in its rush to form the botched 'regions' has brought about its own downfall. Hoist by their own petard. Gates of 4000 will drop to 1000 next year. Well done Roger.
The player trickle is about to become a haemorrhage. The WRU in its rush to form the botched 'regions' has brought about its own downfall. Hoist by their own petard. Gates of 4000 will drop to 1000 next year. Well done Roger. Dai the Milk

12:57pm Tue 13 Nov 12

kalwales@hotmail.com says...

I dont think Mr Lewis at the WRU is to blame, SOME not ALL, I Repeat SOME not ALL of the Fans are to blame, by that i mean i as a Wales Fan have visited all regions and enjoyed my Rugby where as some fans (a) wont buy into regional rugby & (b) will only support there own region - they slate opposition players at regional level but when they play for Wales they idolise them? If im being honest not 1 person is to blame i think we all have a share or are partly to blame in various ways
I dont think Mr Lewis at the WRU is to blame, SOME not ALL, I Repeat SOME not ALL of the Fans are to blame, by that i mean i as a Wales Fan have visited all regions and enjoyed my Rugby where as some fans (a) wont buy into regional rugby & (b) will only support there own region - they slate opposition players at regional level but when they play for Wales they idolise them? If im being honest not 1 person is to blame i think we all have a share or are partly to blame in various ways kalwales@hotmail.com

5:47pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Euwan Usami says...

Players are going to France for cash. No other reason. No one else is to blame.
Players are going to France for cash. No other reason. No one else is to blame. Euwan Usami

5:48pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Dai the Milk says...

Kal,

You're a ref. You must see the fall off in interest, in attitudes over the past 10 years. This system is not working. It was rushed in. Neither the clubs nor the 'regions' are happy. It is because it is neither one thing nor the other. Then this creature we've created is allowed to wither on the vine by the WRU. No support whatsoever. Total reliance on others' hard-earned readies. Players are not stupid. They know in these collision-crazy days that their careers are very short-lived so we can't blame them for heading to France instead of staying in a dying, cash-strapped system. Who brought this situation about? The fans? They didn't create the mess.
Kal, You're a ref. You must see the fall off in interest, in attitudes over the past 10 years. This system is not working. It was rushed in. Neither the clubs nor the 'regions' are happy. It is because it is neither one thing nor the other. Then this creature we've created is allowed to wither on the vine by the WRU. No support whatsoever. Total reliance on others' hard-earned readies. Players are not stupid. They know in these collision-crazy days that their careers are very short-lived so we can't blame them for heading to France instead of staying in a dying, cash-strapped system. Who brought this situation about? The fans? They didn't create the mess. Dai the Milk

6:45pm Tue 13 Nov 12

arvinda strop says...

kalwales@hotmail.com wrote:
I dont think Mr Lewis at the WRU is to blame, SOME not ALL, I Repeat SOME not ALL of the Fans are to blame, by that i mean i as a Wales Fan have visited all regions and enjoyed my Rugby where as some fans (a) wont buy into regional rugby & (b) will only support there own region - they slate opposition players at regional level but when they play for Wales they idolise them? If im being honest not 1 person is to blame i think we all have a share or are partly to blame in various ways
You mean its just the same as when we had club rugby then in thoes far off distant days did newport supporters go to watch pontypool or pontyrpidd supporters go to watch cardiff or bridgend.
Please dont tel me you just realised that a tribal ethos exists among welsh rugby supporters next you will be saying everton supporters are wrong for not watching liverpool.
Realy only said as a bit of banter but you are spot on supporters idolise there own players dislike away team players untill they pull on the national shirt.exactly the same as when we had club rugby the only thing thjat is missing in all this is the 4 to 5 thousand supporters that have voted with there feet you cant force a horse to etc.etc
[quote][p][bold]kalwales@hotmail.com[/bold] wrote: I dont think Mr Lewis at the WRU is to blame, SOME not ALL, I Repeat SOME not ALL of the Fans are to blame, by that i mean i as a Wales Fan have visited all regions and enjoyed my Rugby where as some fans (a) wont buy into regional rugby & (b) will only support there own region - they slate opposition players at regional level but when they play for Wales they idolise them? If im being honest not 1 person is to blame i think we all have a share or are partly to blame in various ways[/p][/quote]You mean its just the same as when we had club rugby then in thoes far off distant days did newport supporters go to watch pontypool or pontyrpidd supporters go to watch cardiff or bridgend. Please dont tel me you just realised that a tribal ethos exists among welsh rugby supporters next you will be saying everton supporters are wrong for not watching liverpool. Realy only said as a bit of banter but you are spot on supporters idolise there own players dislike away team players untill they pull on the national shirt.exactly the same as when we had club rugby the only thing thjat is missing in all this is the 4 to 5 thousand supporters that have voted with there feet you cant force a horse to etc.etc arvinda strop

8:05pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Keith Barnett says...

I see Lydiate is joining him next year - Racing Metro and Biggar maybe the same club
Am hoping to get a subscription to French Rugby Tv, then will be able to watch some good rugby!!
I see Lydiate is joining him next year - Racing Metro and Biggar maybe the same club Am hoping to get a subscription to French Rugby Tv, then will be able to watch some good rugby!! Keith Barnett

8:42pm Tue 13 Nov 12

The People's Republic of Newp says...

Euwan Usami wrote:
Players are going to France for cash. No other reason. No one else is to blame.
Ready yourself, Euwan, I'm about to agree with you... who'd have thunk it?

I suspect the possibility of silverware, meaningful competition and playing in front of crowds that dwarf those in Wales must have some sway too, mind.
[quote][p][bold]Euwan Usami[/bold] wrote: Players are going to France for cash. No other reason. No one else is to blame.[/p][/quote]Ready yourself, Euwan, I'm about to agree with you... who'd have thunk it? I suspect the possibility of silverware, meaningful competition and playing in front of crowds that dwarf those in Wales must have some sway too, mind. The People's Republic of Newp

1:00am Wed 14 Nov 12

corpardguy says...

The whole GAME in Wales is moribound in that crash balls will not work in an environment where all the centres and wings are as big or bigger than the back rows. Its Old hat, everyone knows its coming and has learned how to deal with it, especially at top level. Put that with rush defences and its a recipe for closing rugby grounds in very short order.
Its a sterile game which produces a minimum of entertainment and a maximum of injuries and shortens playing careers. We need a new game plan, and I don't mean kicking ........
Where are the Shanes and Geralds coming from, you know, the people who can actually change a game by skill and deft touches. I thought North was a bit different but not one decent off-load against the Pumas. Once again the AB show the way with athletes all over the park not just gym monkeys, bulk and bash! Just like Wales in the "golden age"
The whole GAME in Wales is moribound in that crash balls will not work in an environment where all the centres and wings are as big or bigger than the back rows. Its Old hat, everyone knows its coming and has learned how to deal with it, especially at top level. Put that with rush defences and its a recipe for closing rugby grounds in very short order. Its a sterile game which produces a minimum of entertainment and a maximum of injuries and shortens playing careers. We need a new game plan, and I don't mean kicking ........ Where are the Shanes and Geralds coming from, you know, the people who can actually change a game by skill and deft touches. I thought North was a bit different but not one decent off-load against the Pumas. Once again the AB show the way with athletes all over the park not just gym monkeys, bulk and bash! Just like Wales in the "golden age" corpardguy

12:52pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Euwan Usami says...

corpardguy wrote:
The whole GAME in Wales is moribound in that crash balls will not work in an environment where all the centres and wings are as big or bigger than the back rows. Its Old hat, everyone knows its coming and has learned how to deal with it, especially at top level. Put that with rush defences and its a recipe for closing rugby grounds in very short order.
Its a sterile game which produces a minimum of entertainment and a maximum of injuries and shortens playing careers. We need a new game plan, and I don't mean kicking ........
Where are the Shanes and Geralds coming from, you know, the people who can actually change a game by skill and deft touches. I thought North was a bit different but not one decent off-load against the Pumas. Once again the AB show the way with athletes all over the park not just gym monkeys, bulk and bash! Just like Wales in the "golden age"
Agree with that but I don't think anyone has an answer to it. Other than turning the game into rugby league. Kicking itself its not bad, teams need to be kick well to over come brick wall defenses.
[quote][p][bold]corpardguy[/bold] wrote: The whole GAME in Wales is moribound in that crash balls will not work in an environment where all the centres and wings are as big or bigger than the back rows. Its Old hat, everyone knows its coming and has learned how to deal with it, especially at top level. Put that with rush defences and its a recipe for closing rugby grounds in very short order. Its a sterile game which produces a minimum of entertainment and a maximum of injuries and shortens playing careers. We need a new game plan, and I don't mean kicking ........ Where are the Shanes and Geralds coming from, you know, the people who can actually change a game by skill and deft touches. I thought North was a bit different but not one decent off-load against the Pumas. Once again the AB show the way with athletes all over the park not just gym monkeys, bulk and bash! Just like Wales in the "golden age"[/p][/quote]Agree with that but I don't think anyone has an answer to it. Other than turning the game into rugby league. Kicking itself its not bad, teams need to be kick well to over come brick wall defenses. Euwan Usami

6:44pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Euwan Usami says...

The People's Republic of Newp wrote:
Euwan Usami wrote:
Players are going to France for cash. No other reason. No one else is to blame.
Ready yourself, Euwan, I'm about to agree with you... who'd have thunk it?

I suspect the possibility of silverware, meaningful competition and playing in front of crowds that dwarf those in Wales must have some sway too, mind.
To be honest, I always find it amusing when I see players squirm when asked they motives for moving to France. It's the money, anything else is a bonus/excuse. If they paid less than our regions do you think the players would go then? ;)
[quote][p][bold]The People's Republic of Newp[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Euwan Usami[/bold] wrote: Players are going to France for cash. No other reason. No one else is to blame.[/p][/quote]Ready yourself, Euwan, I'm about to agree with you... who'd have thunk it? I suspect the possibility of silverware, meaningful competition and playing in front of crowds that dwarf those in Wales must have some sway too, mind.[/p][/quote]To be honest, I always find it amusing when I see players squirm when asked they motives for moving to France. It's the money, anything else is a bonus/excuse. If they paid less than our regions do you think the players would go then? ;) Euwan Usami

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