Harlequins sign Wales centre Jamie Roberts

English Rugby club Harlequins have ended speculation over the signing of Wales international Jamie Roberts by confirming that they have signed the British and Irish Lion Series winner.

Two time Six Nations Grand Slam Champion Roberts has been linked to Harlequins in recent weeks but the club have now confirmed that he will join them from next season

Commenting on the news Harlequins Director of Rugby, Conor O’Shea, commented: “The whole club is ecstatic to have signed a player of Jamie’s quality. He is massively ambitious to achieve at both club and international level. As a role model to all of our players, he will be someone we can all learn from.

“We know we won’t see Jamie in the Harlequins jersey for a while yet, but when we do I know he will be a massive contributor to the history of this club, the development of our team and the development of young players like Joe Marchant and Harry Sloan.”

Roberts, 28, will arrive from Top 14 side Racing Metro; a club he joined in 2013 after six years with Cardiff Blues.

During his time with the Welsh region, the powerful centre won the Anglo-Welsh and European Challenge Cups in 2009 and 2010 respectively before graduating as a Doctor in 2013 following his studies at Cardiff University.

After representing Wales at U19, U21 and in 7s, he made his international debut in 2008 against Scotland. Since then, Roberts has played for his country on 69 occasions, winning two Six Nations Grand Slams (2008 and 2012) and one Championship title (2013). In 2011 Jamie helped Wales to a fourth place finish at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Roberts’ physical nature on the field and lethal ability to break the gainline saw him called into the 2009 British and Irish Lions squad to tour South Africa. Despite the Series loss, the Newport-born back was named Man of the Series.

He toured again with The Lions in 2013, scoring in the third Test against Australia to seal a historic Series win.

Jamie’s physicality and professionalism both on and off the pitch will make him a valuable asset to both Harlequins and the Aviva Premiership.

Commenting on the announcement, Roberts said: “I’m delighted to have signed for Harlequins. Having played in Cardiff and in Paris, moving to London is a chance for me to experience and further develop my career in a different league. My desire to compete and win at both Club and International level remains as strong as ever and the brand of rugby Harlequins play will challenge my skill set and no doubt help me improve as a rugby player.

“You look at the calibre of the Harlequins squad and the coaching set up; they are a team that are going to be competing at the top level year in year out and that was a huge factor in my decision to sign.

“I’m also delighted and feel very privileged to have been accepted to study a Masters degree (MPhil) in Medical Science (surgery) at Cambridge University and look forward to furthering my education part-time alongside my professional playing career. That balance in my life has served me well in the past and I’m excited to start this new chapter in London.”

Roberts will join Harlequins next season alongside other notable signings including fellow internationals James Horwill, Adam Jones, Tim Visser and Winston Stanley.

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