Wales centre Jamie Roberts to join Stormers from Bath Rugby

Jamie Roberts joined Bath Rugby in 2018
Jamie Roberts joined Bath Rugby in 2018

Bath Rugby have confirmed the departure of Wales international Jamie Roberts with immediate effect.

The 33-year-old joined Bath ahead of the 2018/19 season and has made 34 appearances for the club since then. He has featured in 94 Tests for Wales apart from three for the British and Irish Lions with his last appearance coming in 2017.

Roberts will now head to Super Rugby club Stormers ahead of the 2020 season.

“It’s been a huge honour to represent the City and people of Bath. I’ve loved every second with players, staff and supporters and playing my part in the Blue, Black and White jersey. It’s a special place and i'll certainly miss it dearly," he told the official website of Bath Rugby.

"Most importantly, I owe huge thanks to Hoops for accepting my release and allowing me to take up this incredible opportunity. I didn’t think at this stage in my career that an opportunity like this would come my way, and I really cannot express my gratitude enough.

"It feels incredibly bitter-sweet, Bath is a truly great Club, full of brilliant people and I would have loved to finish this season together. I’ve enjoyed playing with such an exciting group of young guys who I know are going to go on and achieve great things individually and together collectively.

"However, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I’m certain will not come around again and I’m looking forward to being able to continue my career in Cape Town. Thank you to everyone, especially Bath supporters, who have supported my journey here.”

Meanwhile, the club have also confirmed the arrival of Fiji international Josh Matavesi to fill in the vacant position left by Roberts.

Matavesi, who has been capped 24 times at international level has represented Exeter Chiefs, Racing 92, Worcester Warriors, Ospreys and Newcastle Falcons previously.

“We have agreed with Jamie to release him for a move to the Stormers for the next stage of his career and he goes with our thanks for his contribution and best wishes for his future at the Stormers," said Bath director of rugby Stuart Hooper.

"With Josh’s arrival, we feel we have a hugely exciting addition to the squad who can add the type of skillset we need in our backline, we believe that Josh can add great value to the way we play our game, with his versatility and creativity being a real bonus."

“Josh can help us to bring a different dynamic in the midfield and enable us to create momentum, and to find space through his distribution and kicking skills.

"We know Josh will link up really well with players such as Jackson Willison and Max Wright, and I am looking forward to seeing those new combinations develop."