Jonathan Humphreys has today confirmed that he will leave Cardiff Rugby Football Club at the end of the season to join Bath Rugby on a two-year contract.
Cardiff's Chief Executive Robert Norster said, "Jonathan's current contract with the club will end this May and we have had on-going discussions about his future. We offered him a new competitive contract and it was one that he was comfortable with.
"Unfortunately, although he was happy with these aspects and also with other key elements of our club, there was the added factor that he felt that at this stage of his career he wanted new challenges in a new environment.
"We respect his views on this and although it will be a sad day for us all when we part company with such a committed player and wonderful servant to the club, we must accept his decision and wish him well for the future."
Jonathan Humphreys played his first game for Cardiff on 1 September 1989. He was part of two Welsh Cup and two Welsh League and Welsh/Scottish League championship teams and also played for Cardiff in the 1996 Heineken Cup Final. He was club captain in 1997-98. He has, to date, played 234 games for the first team.
Jonathan Humphreys has admitted that to leave the club was an incredibly hard decision to make. He said, "Cardiff Rugby Football Club has been my life for 13 years and the last few weeks as I have mulled over this decision have been particularly difficult. I owe a lot of people at the club so much, especially the chairman Peter Thomas for his efforts in the past and now the present as I contemplated the options open to me.
"I am also very conscious of Cardiff's wonderful supporters and members who have been so kind to me throughout my time at the club. They have been a special inspiration to me on the bad days as well as the good - and, thankfully, the latter has usually been the case.
"In the end it was a personal decision which in no way should be seen as a negative reflection on the club. The fact is that at this stage in my career I feel that I need the challenge of a new experience in club rugby. Playing for another great club such as Bath in the Zurich Premiership provides just that.
"Cardiff's games in England, both in the so-called 'rebel' season and the Heineken Cup, rank at the top of my happiest memories and in the end the decision was based on my appetite for more club rugby at that level.
"I also have personal ambitions to play international rugby again and I believe that by joining a club across the border I might shake off the mistaken perceptions in some Welsh rugby circles that my best years are behind me.
"Beyond that, perhaps one day I will return to the Arms Park in a different capacity to contribute to the future of the club."
Jonathan Humphreys hopes to play again in at least two of the club's remaining Welsh/Scottish League fixtures, including the final match against Llanelli at the Arms Park on Friday 10 May.
On that evening his son Thomas and nephews Ben and Matthew Ellis will be the match mascots.
Wales Under 20 travel to Newcastle on Friday to face England at Kingston Park. With the likes of Jack Dixon and Ashley Evans returning to the squad, it's arguably the strongest side head coach Byron Hayward has put out in the tournament so far. WRU TV previews the game with Defence Coach Richard Hodges and captain Steffan Hughes.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland gives an exclusive interview to WRU TV after naming his side to face England in the RBS 6 Nations at Twickenham on Sunday. Gatland has recalled British & Irish Lions duo Jonathan Davies and Alun Wyn Jones to his side while Rhys Webb retains his place at scrum half.
Scrum half Rhys Webb and lock Jake Ball both made their first Wales starts in last Friday's win over France at the Millennium Stadium. They talk exclusively to WRU TV's Luke Broadley about their experiences of the day.
Wales Women's Head Coach Rhys Edwards has made three changes to his side to face France at Aberavon on Sunday, where he expects his side to be given a tough time against one of the best teams in the world.