Welsh centre Roberts signs for Super Rugby’s Stormers

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Premiership - Bristol Bears vs Bath Rugby - Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol, Britain - August 31, 2018 Bath's Jamie Roberts gestures Action Images/Andrew Boyers/File Photo

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Former Wales centre Jamie Roberts has signed a one-year contract to play for South African Super Rugby side the Stormers, the team announced on Thursday.

“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,” Roberts said in a statement from the Stormers.

“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.”

New Stormers coach John Dobson said Roberts’ experience will be invaluable with the side having lost Springbok centre Damian de Allende to Japanese side Panasonic Wild Knights.

“Jamie’s record and reputation speaks for itself, but I am particularly excited to see the impact that he will have on the likes of talented players such as Damian Willemse, Dan du Plessis, Rikus Pretorius and Lyle Hendricks who will be able to soak up so much from playing alongside him,” Dobson said.

“He is renowned around the world for his professionalism and we are all looking forward to the impact he will have here.”

Roberts, 33, played the last of his 97 tests in 2017, and toured South Africa and Australia with the British and Irish Lions.

The Stormers open their season at home to New Zealand’s Wellington Hurricanes on Feb. 1.

Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne