Former Racing winger Dan Scarbrough backs Saints star Regan Grace to shine in France

Former England rugby union winger Dan Scarbrough has backed St Helens flier Regan Grace to be a hit after switching codes.

Grace, 25, turned down a new deal from the Super League champions to sign up with French Top 14 side Racing 92. And Scarbrough, 44, knows just what the talented Welsh wideman can expect when he arrives in Paris having played with the club himself from 2008 to 2011. He said: “Regan Grace has certainly got the skills and talent to make his mark with Racing.

“He just needs to relax, let it happen and enjoy the ride. The key thing for me is how he’ll transfer to the French way of playing. Playing rugby league here is quite structured but in France they’re more classic laissez-faire. It’s all how that transition is managed: one, from rugby union but, two, into something totally different like living over there.

“I’m sure they’ll accept him with open arms. And he’ll enjoy the lifestyle as well as the rugby. It’s a fantastic club to go to.”

Ex-Saracens star Scarbrough, 44, added: “You can ask the question why they don’t do certain things in France. But once you get beyond that and go with the flow of how they play and what they want to do, you’ll soon start to enjoy the French flair.

“Racing have lost the France winger Teddy Thomas to La Rochelle and he’s rapid. They’ll hope Regan Grace can be his successor and I’m sure he will be successful.”

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Port Talbot-born Grace grew up playing union but joined Saints aged 17 and has gone on to score 89 tries in 143 games. He makes the switch at the end of the season and his loss is a big blow for the Super League leaders. Grace, who qualifies to play for Wales and England, said: “I want to thank everyone at St Helens.

“I’ve loved every minute of being here. The town has been a big part of my life. I have spent my entire adult life here and it has become my home. It was such a hard decision to leave because of those emotions, but I want to go and test myself and experience a new challenge. To win three Super League titles and a Challenge Cup has been a dream come true and my full focus is now ensuring we win a fourth title at the end of the year.”

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