Wales star Jamie Roberts signs for Harlequins

Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Harlequins have pulled off a huge transfer coup with the signing of British & Irish Lions centre Jamie Roberts.

Roberts will arrive at the Twickenham Stoop following the 2015 Rugby World Cup where he is expected to feature for Wales. The signing of Roberts from Racing Metro is a big statement of intent from Harlequins after what has been a mediocre season by their high standards.

He will bring a wealth of experience to Harlequins having played for Wales on 69 occasions and he has also won three Lions Test caps. At Harlequins he will link up with former Wales prop Adam Jones and Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea is delighted with the capture.

"The whole club is ecstatic to have signed a player of Jamie's quality. He is massively ambitious to achieve at both club and international level," O'Shea said. "He is a role model to all of our players, he will be someone we can all learn from.

"We know we won't see Jamie in the Harlequins jersey for a while yet, but when we do I know he will be a massive contributor to the history of this club, the development of our team and the development of young players like Joe Marchant and Harry Sloan."

Roberts will combine his Harlequins duties with a part-time Masters at Cambridge and he is looking forward to a fresh challenge.

"I'm delighted to have signed for Harlequins," Roberts said. "Having played in Cardiff and in Paris, moving to London is a chance for me to experience and further develop my career in a different league. My desire to compete and win at both club and international level remains as strong as ever and the brand of rugby Harlequins play will challenge my skill set and no doubt help me improve as a rugby player.

"You look at the calibre of the Harlequins squad and the coaching set up; they are a team that are going to be competing at the top level year in year out and that was a huge factor in my decision to sign.

"I'm also delighted and feel very privileged to have been accepted to study a Masters degree (MPhil) in Medical Science (surgery) at Cambridge University and look forward to furthering my education part-time alongside my professional playing career. That balance in my life has served me well in the past and I'm excited to start this new chapter in London."

Roberts will join fellow new signings Jones, Tim Visser, James Horwill and Winston Stanley at Harlequins next term.