Andries Pretorius move to Worcester 'not financial'

Former Cardiff Blues captain Andries Pretorius says he turned down a big money move to France or Japan to join Worcester ahead of the 2014-15 season.

The South African-born back-rower, 28, is the latest Wales cap to announce he is leaving the domestic game.

"The reason for [moving to] Worcester wasn't a financial one," he said.

"I could have chased the money in France or Japan, where we had offers, but instead I'm doing my masters [degree] in Newport."

Pretorius made a commitment to Worcester in the knowledge they could be relegated from the Aviva Premiership at the end of the season.

But being able to commute from his Cardiff home and continue his studies was crucial to Pretorius' decision.

Pretorius's Welsh credentials

  • South Africa-born Pretorius became eligible to play for Wales in December 2012.
  • Was selected for Wales' 35- man Six Nations squad in 2013.
  • Made his international debut in June 2013, winning the first of his two international caps against Japan

He added: ""It wasn't by any means an easy decision, but… I knew that my next contract was likely to be my last one.

"I've always said I'd like to start with Cardiff and finish with Cardiff, but the way things have changed over the last 18 months with Welsh rugby and in general is quite tough.

"We definitely don't want to go abroad and therefore the option to Worcester meant that I'd be able to finish my masters in Newport.

"I'd be able to commute and it would be a good move for my family not to move abroad."

Warriors are 11 points adrift at the bottom at halfway, having lost all their first 12 matches this season.

The South Africa-born back-row forward was spotted by the Blues while at Hartpury College in Gloucester, having been brought to the UK by current Wales age-group boss Allan Lewis.

Pretorius went on to qualify on residency to play for Wales and made his international debut for his adopted country on last summer's tour to Japan.

He is the latest player to leave the Arms Park, Wales centre Jamie Roberts having departed in the summer for French side Racing Metro.

Wales lock Bradley Davies, who is sidelined with a shoulder injury, is being linked with to a move to Wasps.

The futures of Wales and Lions duo Leigh Halfpenny and Sam Warburton, who are both out of contract in the summer, have yet to be resolved.

The Blues are also losing Robin Copeland to Munster, but have been linked with Scarlets back-rower Josh Turnbull.

They have also seen youngsters Ellis Jenkins, Rory Watts-Jones and Macauley Cook feature strongly in recent weeks.