LONG-TERM Dragons target Owen Williams has put his Wales career on hold after moving to Japan.

The three-times capped fly-half/centre has signed for NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes in Osaka after spending the last three seasons with Gloucester.

The 28-year-old, who came through at the Scarlets before moving to Leicester, has been snapped up by his former Cherry and Whites boss Johan Ackermann.

Bernard Jackman looked at signing Williams when he was in the Dragons hotseat, while his playmaking abilities would still be a good fit outside Sam Davies.

The spending power of Japanese rugby has attracted a raft of players, especially at a time of increased financial pressure due to the coronavirus crisis.

Hadleigh Parkes has effectively ended his Wales career by moving to Panasonic Wild Knights and now Williams will be unavailable to national boss Wayne Pivac under the 60-cap rule.

South Wales Argus:

He made his Test debut against Tonga in Auckland in 2017 and went on to feature in the autumn internationals against Australia and New Zealand.

Williams was seen as a ball-playing option at inside centre but has since been derailed by injuries and, unlike his Wales-based teammates, having to return to his club during Test camps under World Rugby regulations.

He was named in Pivac's squad for the Six Nations and was selected on the bench for the fixture in Ireland only to be a late withdrawal due to a hamstring injury suffered in the warm-up at the Aviva Stadium.

That will be his final involvement with Wales unless he moves to a region at the end of his deal in Osaka.

South Wales Argus:

"As I watched the Rugby World Cup last year, I was fascinated by the supportiveness of Japanese people for rugby, and I'm really looking forward to joining the Docomo Red Hurricanes team in the Top League at this time," said Williams.

"I look forward to contributing to their success this season. I hear Osaka is a wonderful city to live in, so me and my partner can't wait to immerse ourselves in the Japanese lifestyle and enjoy wonderful Japanese food.

"I look forward to the aggressive attacking rugby that Johan Ackermann loves."

Parkes and Williams are no longer an option for Pivac and the same applies for flanker Thomas Young, who has signed a new contract with Wasps, and scrum-half Aled Davies, who has moved from the Ospreys to Saracens.