Exiled Wales star in remarkable display as Gatland outcast left devastated

Welsh outside-half Sam Davies inspired Grenoble to a resounding Pro D2 quarter-final play-off win over Dax to give himself a major shot at playing Top 14 rugby next season.

Davies has been a revelation in France since quitting Welsh rugby last summer, averaging nearly 10 points a game and winning rave reviews for the quality of his performances.

The 30-year-old was simply sublime as he guided his side to a thumping 58-10 win, setting up four tries and scoring 14 points with the boot. One try assist saw Davies throw an outrageous pass out the back door to open up the opposition defence.

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Grenoble now face league table-toppers Provence, who include Wales prop Tomas Francis among their ranks, in the play-off semi-final. Provence, of course, is also the destination of Wales legend George North next season.

Provence and Vannes were the two top teams after the regular 30-game season and automatically qualified for home semi-finals as a result. The clubs placed third through to sixth played an elimination round to advance to the semi-finals. The two winners of the semi-final play each other in the final, with the winner gaining promotion to the Top 14, and the losing finalist then going on to play the 13th-placed team in the Top 14 in a promotion-relegation match.

The other elimination round between third-placed Beziers and sixth-placed Brive saw the season end in heartbreak for Wales international Ross Moriarty as his Brive team lost 33-31 to see any promotion hopes ended. After the match, Moriarty posted on social media: "Merci to all the @cabriverugbyofficiel for your support this season. Next season will be different."

Moriarty continues to be available for Wales but there is no expectation Warren Gatland will pick him any time soon after leaving him out of his Six Nations squad after the back rower made himself unavailable for the Rugby World Cup training squad last year.

As for Davies, he won the last of his eight Wales caps in 2017. He recently told WalesOnline: "I'd like to think I'm playing the best rugby of my career now. I'm 30 so a lot of that will come with experience. But changing and freshening things up has really helped.

"I'm enjoying focusing on my own game now. The language means I can't get as involved in discussions about the team. I just have to focus on what's in front of me. Looking back, I think my instincts have been one of the best parts of my game."

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