Roberts leaves Bath for Stormers ahead of 2020 Super Rugby season

By Sports Desk January 16, 2020

Wales centre Jamie Roberts has left Bath to sign with South African Super Rugby franchise the Stormers.

British and Irish Lion Roberts, who joined Bath from Harlequins in 2018, moves to Cape Town with immediate effect after the Stormers received the financial support of a corporate partner.

The 33-year-old earned the last of his 94 Wales caps in November 2017 and will also act as a mentor for his new team.

"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," said Roberts.

"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.

"Having toured South Africa with my school, sevens, club and Wales, then playing in the 2009 British and 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 on the many talented youngsters that we have here."

The Stormers finished bottom of the South Africa Conference last season and begin their 2020 campaign at home to the Hurricanes on February 1.

Bath have replaced Roberts by signing Fiji international and utility back Josh Matavesi from Newcastle Falcons.

Related items

  • Rebels and Reds have to settle for draw after Super Time Rebels and Reds have to settle for draw after Super Time

    There was no separating the Rebels and the Reds after Super Time as they had to settle for an 18-18 draw at Brookvale Oval on Friday. 

    Neither side could force what would have been the first golden-point victory in their second Super Rugby AU match, Reds full-back Bryce Hegarty falling just short with a long-range penalty strike. 

    James O'Connor converted Alex Mafi's try right at the end to force extra time, though they proved to be the last points of the game. 

    Two Matt Toomua penalties gave the Rebels a 6-0 half-time lead, but Filipo Daugunu's try and another O'Connor strike from the tee put the Reds in front. 

    Tries from Reece Hodge and Bill Meakes, the second converted by Toomua, made it advantage Rebels. However, O'Connor reduced the deficit by three before levelling with time almost up after Mafi had crossed. 

  • Saracens tie down Maitland despite relegation Saracens tie down Maitland despite relegation

    Sean Maitland has signed a new two-year contract with Saracens despite the club's relegation to the Championship.

    Premiership and European champions Saracens will play in England's second tier next term following their relegation due to salary cap breaches.

    A number of the club's star names have been linked with moves away while the season is suspended due to coronavirus.

    One player who will not be leaving is Scotland wing Maitland, with the 31-year-old – who has scored 29 tries in 73 appearances – agreeing to stay on until at least 2022.

    Director of rugby Mark McCall said: "Sean has made an outstanding contribution to our club over the last four years both on and off the field.

    "He has taken his game to a new level during that time and has had a great influence on some of our younger players.

    "To have a player of Sean's quality and experience commit his future to the club is a huge boost."

    Maitland's contract follows Manu Vunipola agreeing a new deal on Wednesday.

  • Youngs, Ford, Genge and Taute extend deals with Leicester Tigers Youngs, Ford, Genge and Taute extend deals with Leicester Tigers

    Ben Youngs, George Ford, Ellis Genge and Jaco Taute have all signed new contracts with Leicester Tigers.

    The Premiership club confirmed the new deals for England internationals Youngs and Ford at Welford Road were "long-term".

    Along with England team-mate Genge, who has reportedly extended his contract by a year, scrum-half Youngs and fly-half Ford had each signed previous terms in January.

    South Africa centre Taute, who joined from Munster last year, has also committed his future to the Tigers.

    It means 17 Leicester players have now signed fresh terms despite reports of disputes during talks due to the reduction of the salary cap for the 2021-22 season, with Manu Tuilagi and Telusa Veainu among those to depart.

    Director of rugby Geordan Murphy said seeing the likes of Ford "showing a belief in what we are building here and the vision we have for Leicester Tigers is exciting".

    He added of Youngs: "Ben loves Leicester Tigers and, like all of us at this club, wants to see it get back to where it belongs.

    "He knows there is a tough journey ahead which will take a lot of hard work, on and off the pitch, and has expressed throughout this process that he is committed to whatever it takes."

    Leicester were 11th in the table, with four wins from 13 matches, when the Premiership season was suspended in April due to the coronavirus pandemic, with only Saracens keeping off them bottom as they were deducted 105 points for breaching salary cap regulations.

    The competition is due to resume from August 15.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.