Monday 23 July 2018

Bath capture Roberts from rivals 'Quins

Jamie Roberts of Wales has signed for Bath. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Jamie Roberts of Wales has signed for Bath. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile Sportsdesk

Bath have announced the signing of 94-cap Wales international Jamie Roberts from the start of next season, with the centre set to complete the move from fellow Premiership club Harlequins when his contract expires.

Roberts joined the London side in 2015 following the Rugby World Cup after spending two years with Racing 92 in France, and will arrive with a wealth of experience having featured on Lions tour of South Africa in 2009 and the triumphant tour of Australia four years later.

The 31-year-old has made it clear that he wants to continue his international career, having levelled the number of caps won by Mike Phillips and Colin Charvis to sit as the joint-seventh most-capped player in Welsh rugby history.

But the matter of fact is that, with his international career potentially over due to Warren Gatland's change in direction, Bath will be signing an experienced Six Nations Grand Slam winner who will be available for the majority of the season barring any recall. "I'm really excited to have signed for Bath Rugby - it's a club with a great deal of ambition, which was crucial in making my decision to come here," Roberts said. "There is no doubt that Bath can mix it with the best in both the (Aviva) Premiership and in Europe over the next few years, and I'm looking forward to being part of the journey."

Having signed a three-year deal with Quins, Roberts remained in the Wales reckoning until the start of this season, when Gatland left him out of the squad for the autumn internationals - though he was later recalled due to an injury crisis in the centre - but he has not featured during the Six Nations tournament.

Roberts has made nearly a half-century of appearances for Harlequins, but will head to the West Country in the summer to link-up with head coach Todd Blackadder. "He's hugely respected both on and off the field, and it's those qualities which makes this a really significant signing," Blackadder said.

Independent News Service

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