WALES and Lions fly-half Dan Biggar will leave the Ospreys next season to join Northampton.

The 27-year-old has turned down a national dual contract offer on improved terms from the Liberty Stadium side and the Welsh Rugby Union to head to the Aviva Premiership.

Biggar has established himself as Wales’ first choice number 10 and toured New Zealand with the Lions this summer as back-up to Owen Farrell and Jonathan Sexton.

“I'm hugely privileged to sign for a club with the history and tradition of Saints,” said the fly-half.

“It's extremely exciting to start a new chapter of my career with a club that shares my ambition to win trophies, which is where this club belongs.

“I have to say a massive thank you to the coaches and board for the confidence put in me and I look forward to working as hard as I ever have in my career to return the faith.
“This is an opportunity for me and my family to experience rugby in a different environment and playing in a town and surrounding area which has a massive passion for rugby was a huge attraction.
“I would like to thank everyone at the Ospreys and the Welsh Rugby Union who has supported and helped me throughout my career and an extra special thank you to the fans who have helped and supported me through highs and lows.
“To play for my home club was a dream come true, let alone to play as many times as I have done.

“I hope my passion for the shirt and people of this region has shone through in my performances and I would love to leave on a high note with some silverware.

“I also remain fully committed to Wales and achieving the best I can every time I pull on the red shirt.”

"We're delighted to have secured the signature of such a highly rated player," said Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

"The fact that he has put pen to paper a year in advance shows that Dan has plenty of belief in where we are going as a club and our ambitions for the future."

Biggar’s move – and turning down an Ospreys deal – could potentially give Warren Gatland a selection headache as he is only allowed four players that ply their trade outside Wales in 2018/19, with that figure dropping to two the following season.

In the build-up to the World Cup in Japan the national coach will have to choose between Biggar, Jamie Roberts, Liam Williams, Taulupe Faletau, George North and Rhys Priestland.

The Ospreys, meanwhile, will have Biggar’s Wales rival Sam Davies as first choice along with James Hook and prospect Luke Price.