The Stormers have announced the signing of veteran centre Jamie Roberts for the upcoming Vodacom Super Rugby season.
The seasoned midfielder joins the Cape side through the financial support of a corporate partner and is expected to play a mentoring role for the youngsters in the squad.
Roberts has earned 97 Test caps (94 for Wales and three for the British & Irish Lions) over his illustrious career. He also played for the Cardiff Blues, Racing 92, Harlequins and, more recently, Bath.
The 33-year-old says it has been his lifelong dream to play Super Rugby and he can’t wait to get stuck in and make a contribution as a player and a mentor.
‘It has long been a goal of mine to play in the southern hemisphere and I cannot think of a better place to do so than in the Western Cape, where people are so passionate about their rugby and also staying in Cape Town, which is such an amazing city. While I am looking forward to wearing the shirt, my key drive is to perform on the pitch, win week in, week out and to help to drive success,’ he said.
‘Having toured South Africa with my school, Sevens, club and the Wales national team, then playing in the 2009 British & Irish Lions series as a young player which was a highlight in my career, to spend some time down here and contribute to the fantastic rugby culture will be a special privilege.
‘Every time I have been to South Africa, it has always struck me as a beautiful country with rugby at its heart, which reminds me very much of home. It feels very special to be able to come and play rugby in South Africa.
‘While I am looking forward to pulling the Stormers jersey on, this will also be a fantastic opportunity for me to help impart some knowledge and insight to the many talented youngsters that we have here.’
Stormers coach John Dobson believes that having a player of Roberts’ proven class and ability will be a significant boost to the squad and to its dream to make Cape Town smile.
‘Jamie’s record and reputation speaks for itself, but I am particularly excited to see the impact that he will have on the likes of talented players such as Damian Willemse, Dan du Plessis, Rikus Pretorius and Lyle Hendricks, who will be able to soak up so much from playing alongside him,’ he said.
‘He is renowned around the world for his professionalism and we are all looking forward to the impact he will have here.’
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