B&I Lions star explains his move to Waratahs
SPOTLIGHT: Waratahs confirmed the signing of Wales, and British and Irish Lions International Jamie Roberts on a one-year injury coverage contract for the 2022 season.
Roberts, capped 94 times by Wales and with three Lions Test appearances, joins the Waratahs with an illustrious Test and club resume, adding a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Waratahs backline.
The hard ball-carrying centre made his Test debut for Wales in 2008 against Scotland and has featured in two World Cup campaigns (2011,2015) and won three Six Nations titles with Wales including two Grand Slams.
Roberts, a standout in his two British and Irish Lions tours, scored the series clinching try against Australia in 2013 as well as being named the Lions Player of the Series in their 2009 tour of South Africa.
After a stellar club career spanning Europe and a stint in South Africa with the Stormers, the Welsh centre was excited for the change of scenery in Australia.
“I’m really excited to join the Waratahs. The adventure of playing in a new competition in a different country outside my comfort zone excites me.” Roberts said.
“As my Sydney-born partner is expecting our second child in March, we feel the best decision for our family is to be surrounded by her support network in Sydney.
“On the rugby front, I’m looking to hit the ground running, get up to speed quickly, perform on the pitch and help drive success.
“Hopefully I can impart some of my knowledge and insight to the talented youngsters on the team, keep improving as a player and keep developing as a person for what may come after.”
The arrival of Roberts comes at the perfect time for the Waratahs after losing promising centre Joey Walton to an ACL injury during the first block of pre-season in November.
Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman was thrilled to add a player of the calibre and experience of Roberts to his roster.
“Losing two of our centres in Joey Walton and Mosese Tuipulotu was a big blow as we view them as the future of the side. So, to be able to bring in a player with the experience and talent that Jamie has on an injury coverage contract is huge for us,” Coleman said.
“Jamie has been playing at a consistently high level with Dragons in Wales this season and adds a really big body for go forward and is very sound defensively. He adds vital depth in our midfield and will complement the mix of players we currently have.
“Off the field he will also add a lot to the group and our team culture with his professionalism and experience.”
Roberts is not only a high achiever on the rugby field but is also a qualified doctor after graduating from Cardiff University School of Medicine in 2013 after eight years of study.
Roberts will play his final match for Dragons against Benetton in the United Rugby Championship on January 28 before departing for Sydney to join the side.
The NSW Waratahs play their first trial match of 2022 against the Brumbies on Saturday January 29 at Bowral Rugby Club.