Experienced Wales and British & Irish Lions centre Jamie Roberts has been linked with a move to the Stormers for the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby season.
Roberts’ potential arrival could plug a hole in the Stormers squad following Springbok Damian de Allende’s departure to Japan and Dan du Plessis’ injury problems. The 33-year-old was part of the Lions squads to tour South Africa in 2009 and Australia in 2013.
Stormers coach John Dobson hinted at a potential signing last week when he highlighted their midfield as a potential issue this season, before adding ‘we have a plan to deal with it’. Dobson had already stated last year that a British & Irish Lion had expressed interest in playing for them without revealing the identity of the player.
While Roberts’ wages could have been a stumbling block to any potential deal with Bath, Rapport has reported that a third party got involved to help fund the transfer. Roberts is reportedly eager to move to get game time in a bid to play for the Lions in 2021.
It will not be the first time that the Stormers have turned to a foreign player to help their squad, having signed New Zealander Shaun Treeby on a short-term deal back in 2017.
Other than Du Plessis, the Stormers’ centre stocks comprise sevens convert Ruhan Nel, Griquas star Michal Haznar and youngsters in Rikus Pretorius and Matt Moore, who have both been singled out as options by Dobson. Nel will not be available for the Super Rugby playoffs, should the Stormers progress that far, as he will return to the Blitzboks to prepare for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Photo: Alex Davidson/Getty Images