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Waratahs confirm signing of ex-Wales and Lions star Jamie Roberts

By AAP
(Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Veteran Wales and British and Irish Lions centre Jamie Roberts has been allowed to quit Welsh club Dragons and join the NSW Waratahs in Sydney for personal reasons.

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The 35-year-old has been granted early release from his contract to join his Australian partner Nicole Ramson, who is expecting their second child in March and moved back to Sydney a few weeks ago.

Roberts has signed a one-year injury coverage contract with the injury-hit Waratahs, bringing an abundance of much-needed experience.

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A big, strong ball carrier, Roberts is expected the fill the inside centre role for the Tahs who lost promising youngster Joey Walton to an ACL injury in training in November.

Roberts, a standout in his two British and Irish Lions tours, scored the series-clinching try against Australia in 2013 as well as being named the Lions Player of the Series in their 2009 tour of South Africa.

He made his test debut for Wales in 2008 against Scotland and has featured in two Rugby World Cup campaigns (2011, 2015) and won three Six Nations titles with Wales, including two Grand Slams.

“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 said.

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“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.”

Roberts will play his final match for Dragons against Benetton in the United Rugby Championship this weekend before departing for Sydney to join the side.

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The Waratahs play their first trial match of 2022 against the Brumbies on Saturday in Bowral.

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