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Roberts: I've had a new lease of life

05/08/2020

New recruit Jamie Roberts believes his spell in South Africa in Super Rugby has given his career a new lease of life – and now he is ready to put that into practice with Dragons.

The 94-times capped Wales centre signed on with Dragons this week after a spell with The Stormers was cut short by Coronavirus pandemic.

The 33-year-old had playing offers from around the world after his time in Super Rugby can to an abrupt end.

However, the Dragons became his top choice after discussions with boss Dean Ryan and now he plans to show his best form after seven years out of Welsh rugby.

“I feel good; I feel like I was playing some of my best rugby in South Africa. Super Rugby gave me a new lease of life,” he said.

"I was in Cape Town at the end of March when Coronavirus shut down the country down and I was in limbo - being out of contract during a pandemic was not fun.

"I had a few options around the world to carry on my professional career and then I sat down with Dean and went through the squad.

“The appeal to me is I think there are a few players in that squad who will be in contention for the Lions tour, there are a few players in that squad who are already established international players. And when I look at the rest of the majority of that squad, they're potential international players.

"There are young players who are maybe 20-25 per cent off being there or thereabouts. The appeal for me is, if I can harness those experiences of playing around the world, playing in some of the top leagues in the world, and contribute to the growth of those lads.

"Dean spoke about me being at a certain point in my career and it's probably not something I would've thought about when I was 22 or 23.

"But I'm 33, I've been fortunate to achieve a lot of what I've set out to in this game, and nothing would please me more than seeing those other lads do that. It's exciting.

"I've always wanted to come back to play in Wales before I hang up my boots,” he added.

“I certainly want to play for another two or three seasons if I can, and I feel good. I feel like I played some of my best rugby in South Africa.”

I feel like I was playing some of my best rugby in South Africa... Super Rugby gave me a new lease of life...
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