Waratahs secure signing of Wales and British and Irish Lions international Jamie Roberts

Jamie Roberts has played 97 Tests
Jamie Roberts has played 97 Tests

Waratahs have announced the signing of Wales and British and Irish Lions international Jamie Roberts for the 2022 season of the Super Rugby Pacific.

The decision follows after centre Joey Walton is sidelined with an ACL during the pre-season in November.

Roberts will bring a wealth of experience to Waratahs having a stellar 16-year domestic career where he had represented Cardiff Rugby, Harlequins, Racing 92, Bath Rugby, Stormers and Dragons.

The 35-year-old made his international debut with Wales during the 2008 Six Nations tournament and had represented them in 94 Tests and went on to win three Six Nations titlesincluding two Grand Slams. He also represented them in the 2011 and 2015 World Cup campaigns.

Roberts also has the experience of playing for British and Irish Lions in three games that came during the 2009 and 2013 tours of South Africa and Australia respectively.

“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 told the club's official website.

“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.”

Waratahs head coach Darren Coleman is thrilled to have the experience of Roberts as they look to make stride in the inaugural edition of the Super Rugby Pacific.

“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.”