Newly signed Dragons centre Jamie Roberts has said that his “love for the game was born on the terraces of Rodney Parade”. After the signing of the 94-cap Wales international was confirmed this week, he shared a message on Instagram, where he not only described the potential of the group as “hugely exciting”, but revealed how he grew up following the Dragons before becoming a Cardiff player.

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Roberts also posted a heartfelt message about his short spell with Super Rugby side the Stormers.

He said: “Before playing through the junior ranks in Cardiff from the age of 15, my love for the game was born on the terraces of Rodney Parade. My Dad, Norman, has been a lifelong Newport Rugby supporter and for many years my brother and I would frequent the terraces on weekends and harness our love for the game I’ve been so fortunate to play professionally.

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“No one would be prouder than him that I’m coming to represent the rugby supporters of Gwent.

“There has always been something very special about a packed out Rodney Parade and it’s something I’m looking forward to experiencing first hand on the pitch this season.”

View this post on Instagram

Always promised myself when I left Wales in 2013 that I’d endeavor to return to play in Gods Country. Delighted and grateful to be given that opportunity this season with @dragonsrugby Exciting things happening at the club. Look forward to helping the club grow on and off field. The potential in the group is hugely exciting. I’ve been fortunate to have achieved the majority of what I set out to achieve in the game. I hope to be able to harness my experiences from playing across some of the worlds top leagues in order to help the lads at the Dragons achieve theirs, collectively and individually. Before playing through the junior ranks in Cardiff from the age of 15, my love for the game was born on the terraces of Rodney Parade. My Dad, Norman, has been a lifelong Newport Rugby supporter and for many years my brother and I would frequent the terraces on weekends and harness our love for the game I’ve been so fortunate to play professionally. No one would be prouder than him that I’m coming to represent the rugby supporters of Gwent. There has always been something very special about a packed out Rodney Parade and it’s something I’m looking forward to experiencing first hand on the pitch this season. ????

A post shared by Jamie Roberts (@jamiehuwroberts) on

The 33-year-old also looked back on his time with the Stormers at the beginning of the year, whom he represented before the Super Rugby season was halted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Despite his short tenure in Cape Town, the Welshman holds fond memories of his time at Newlands, in a spell whereby he quickly became a popular figure.

He said: “Although it only lasted 10 weeks, on reflection it was one of my most enjoyable rugby experiences. To play in Super Rugby (which now doesn’t exist!) was a real experience.

“Current circumstances have dictated my time in a Stormers Jersey may be limited to 6 matches as SA rugby finds its way back to its feet. However, we’ll see what the future holds!”

View this post on Instagram

Spent some significant time the past few weeks reflecting on my time in South Africa with the @dhlstormers since the world turned on its head with COVID. Wonderful country and welcome, great group of lads and a club I’m extremely grateful to for giving me the opportunity to play the sport I love at one of the most iconic venues in world rugby, Newlands in Cape Town. Although it only lasted 10 weeks, on reflection it was one of my most enjoyable rugby experiences. To play in Super Rugby (which now doesn’t exist!) was a real experience. Current circumstances have dictated my time in a Stormers Jersey may be limited to 6 matches as SA rugby finds its way back to its feet. However, we’ll see what the future holds! Thanks @dhlstormers ?

A post shared by Jamie Roberts (@jamiehuwroberts) on

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The move to Rodney Parade marks the first time since 2013 the three-cap British and Irish Lion has played for a Welsh region, having played for Racing 92, Harlequins, Bath and the Stormers since leaving Cardiff Blues.

Given some of the signings Dean Ryan has made this summer, it is unsurprising that Roberts has a positive outlook for the season ahead and his partnership with compatriot Nick Tompkins is one that could flourish when the Guinness Pro14 season resumes with a visit to the Ospreys on August 23rd.

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