Saracens move down to Wales not Cardiff - Carre

Wales prop Rhys Carre says he is leaving Cardiff for Saracens having “gone backwards” in his international career.

Carre, 26, will no longer be eligible for Wales when he rejoins Saracens this summer because he has only 20 caps.

He has not featured for Wales since being released from Warren Gatland’s World Cup training squad last summer.

In an interview in the match programme for Cardiff’s home defeat to Edinburgh on Saturday, Carre said he views the Saracens move as a “new start”.

He explained how he broke news of his exit to Cardiff head coach Matt Sherratt.

“I said to him it wasn’t a decision to leave Cardiff, it was more everything that had gone on,” Carre said.

“The decision wasn’t based on a Cardiff perspective, more the Wales perspective. From a club perspective, I think I’ve got better every year. I just think from an international perspective, I’ve probably gone backwards.

“As I’ve got better playing for my club, I’ve got looked at less from an international standpoint. I can’t say exactly how and why.”

Carre was part of Warren Gatland’s 54-man training party before last year’s World Cup.

But the Welsh Rugby Union announced last June that after “ongoing discussions” with the Wales coaching staff, Carre was released from the group having "failed to meet individual performance targets".

He had been omitted from Wales' squad for the 2022 autumn internationals despite some impressive displays for Cardiff, with then national coach Wayne Pivac saying he had "fallen short" in his "general conditioning".

The former Wales Under-18 captain was in Gatland's squad at the 2019 World Cup, having made his senior international debut in the lead-up to that tournament.

Carre played for Saracens in 2019-20.

His return to the Premiership club means he will be ineligible for Wales next season because of the Welsh Rugby Union’s 25-cap rule.

“All you can do as a player is play well for your club,” Carre added.

“Some people just don’t get picked. Some people just aren’t a coach's cup of tea or whatever. If you are playing well and still aren’t getting picked, there’s not much you can do.

“Some things aren’t meant to be. It just felt like now was the right time and the opportunity came up to go back to Saracens.”

Cardiff-born Carre says moving to London will allow him “to go away and get out of the environment”.

“I’ve sort of stalled since the 2019 World Cup. I haven’t really gone anywhere,” he said.

“I want a chance to have a new start and to try and better myself again to see where I can get to.”