WALES lock Cory Hill says he needs a new challenge after agreeing to return to Cardiff Blues from the Dragons.

It is likely that the 28-year-old has played his last game for the Rodney Parade region because of the suspension of the season due to the coronavirus crisis.

With PRO14 chiefs having strict criteria for the resumption of the campaign, Hill will probably be back at the Blues when rugby returns.

The forward’s contract expires this summer and he has opted to swap Rodney Parade for the Arms Park.

The Dragons helped turn Hill into an international after he was released by the Blues in 2012.

He had a short spell in the English Championship with Moseley before being signed by Lyn Jones and going on to make 110 appearances, earning a first Test call-up in 2016 and totting up 25 caps.

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“After seven enjoyable years at the Dragons I have decided on a new challenge and opportunity,” he wrote on Instagram. “I’m hugely excited for what lies ahead next season.

“I would like to say thank you to all the Dragons faithful for their support over the last seven years. I’m very proud of my time with the Dragons and it was an honour to captain the region.

“With the current season’s future undecided I do not know whether I will be wearing a Dragons shirt again or not, but my time at Rodney Parade has been special to me – so thank you to everyone who’s been part of my journey.”

Dragons director of rugby Dean Ryan admitted in an extremely short comment that he was sad to see the Wales international leave – “we’re disappointed to see Cory depart and everyone at Dragons Rugby wishes Cory well for the future” – and the region are angry at how the exit materialised.

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The WRU took the lead in negotiations for a new deal as part of a new funding model that sees national boss Wayne Pivac select 38 Test players with the governing body paying 80 per cent of his wages.

The prospect of paying just a fifth of an international’s wages, albeit without having their services for the whole campaign, is an attractive one.

After seeing a Test player make the short move to a rival, the WRU-owned Dragons have called for an investigation.

The region said in a statement that they “have asked the relevant bodies to look into the circumstances around the move”.

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Ryan had previously expressed his frustration at the renegotiation process.

“It’s a new system. I feel that we lack input in it, but it’s a new system and we are trying to find a way through it,” he said in December.

“But we have gone from a system where we’ve been in control to one that is partly controlled by the WRU, and that’s very new to us.”

Hill, who is from Maesycoed in Pontypridd, will be on the same contract terms at the Blues as he would have been at the Dragons and staying in Wales means that he can continue playing for Wales.