Jamie Roberts: Wales and Britain and Ireland Lions center retires at 35

Jamie Roberts has won 94 caps for Wales and played three Tests for the British and Irish Lions

Welsh center Jamie Roberts has announced his retirement at the age of 35.

During a stellar career, Roberts earned 94 caps for Wales and played three Tests for the British and Irish Lions and finished his career with Waratahs in Australia.

“The timing seems right,” Roberts said.

“As I come to the end of my professional playing career, I retire with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for what sport has given me.”

Roberts announced his intention to hang up his boots on social media.

“Having given my all in body and mind, rugby has given me more in return than I could ever have dreamed of,” Roberts said.

“Our wonderful sport has impacted my life far beyond the white lines of the playing field.

“I guess his values ​​defined my attitude and approach to life and certainly shaped who I am today.

“It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to thanking those who have influenced and helped my career.

“There are too many to mention, but as time goes on, I hope to have the opportunity to share a drink and thank you all individually.”

James Roberts enjoyed an ‘incredible last day’ with Wales before retirement

Roberts is currently in South Africa working as a television pundit on the series between the Springboks and Wales.

He actually trained with Wales on the day he announced his retirement to help catch up with the numbers ahead of the final decisive test in Cape Town on Saturday.

“It was interesting to know how it turned out,” Roberts said.

“I was in my hotel room writing my retirement statement and I was very emotional about it.

“I checked my phone and got a voicemail from Wayne Pivac asking if I would come to practice.

“It was an incredible synergy that I was able to train with the guys and help them prepare for an important test, knowing full well that I would be pulling the proverbial cord of my career in the evening.

“It was an amazing day to spend it with guys I’ve played a lot with in my career and to share that with them.

“But also the coaches with a lot of them on the Wales side when I took my first steps in Test rugby.”

Roberts made his international debut in 2008 and was converted from full-back/wing to center later that year.

He was part of two Grand Slam winning teams and three Six Nations teams and the 2011 World Cup squad that finished fourth before their international final in 2017.

Roberts was the Lions’ man of the streak in the 2009 2-1 loss to South Africa and featured in the decisive Third Test victory over Australia four years later, where he scored a try.

“Representing my country has always been a childhood dream, I’m lucky it has come true,” Roberts said.

“It meant the world to me and will forever. I will also never forget the immense pride in leading my country.

“Singing the anthem has had the same impact whether it’s at home in Cardiff, away in some of the most iconic stadiums in world rugby or at two Rugby World Cups.

“I will fondly remember reaching the pinnacle of representative rugby and going on two tours with the Lions.

“The joys and despair I experienced on both tours were nothing short of the experiences of a lifetime.

“The rugby experience with the Barbarians, which culminated in a win over the All Blacks, is also among my favorite weeks in rugby.

“I end with incredible memories and a full heart. I’m proud to finish knowing that I’ve found my calling at number 12. That front-line battle has defined me on and off the pitch.”

Jamie Roberts had a stint at Waratahs after moving to Sydney with partner Nicole with whom he has two children Tom and Elodie
Jamie Roberts had a stint at Waratahs after moving to Sydney with partner Nicole with whom he has two children Tom and Elodie

Roberts began his club career with Cardiff and played in five countries with stints with Racing Metro, Bath, Harlequins, Stormers, Dragons and Waratahs.

“It allowed me to experience several close-knit club families, as well as enjoy a wonderful lifestyle in some of the best cities in the world outside of Wales, namely Paris, London, Bath, Cape Town and Sydney,” Roberts added.

“The playing experiences at each club were unique in their own way and I’m delighted that each environment gave me the opportunity to learn, improve and challenge myself; from my first game for Cardiff until to my last for the Waratahs 16 years later.”

Roberts also had poise outside of rugby. He completed his medical degree from Cardiff University in the summer of 2013, before adding a first-class intercalated degree in sport and exercise science.

Then came a stint at Queens College, University of Cambridge, where he embarked on a Masters of Philosophy in Medical Science, while also playing in the 2015 University game against Oxford at Twickenham.

He undertook this MPhil on a two-year, part-time basis, continuing his studies after leaving Cambridge.

“I greatly appreciate the opportunity the sport has given me to travel the world and broaden my horizons beyond Wales, whether through touring or relocating,” said Roberts.

“Taking those steps to challenge myself outside of my comfort zone, while daunting, provided the pressures I craved.

“These pressures to challenge myself beyond the game have also permeated lecture halls and hospital wards.

“A heartfelt thank you to the staff at Cardiff University, UWIC (now Cardiff Met), Loughborough University and finally Cambridge University, where achieving a Blue is among my moments the prouder.”

Roberts intends to stay in the sport in a broadcast role.

“There is no doubt that I will stay with the sport after I retire. While I figure it all out, it will be primarily in a broadcast capacity,” Roberts added.

“My experiences in the game have indeed taken me to immeasurable highs as well as desperate lows, stirring every possible emotion along the way.

“Above all, the game created a sense of belonging, friendship and healthy competition.

“I’ll miss the locker room, the buzz of game days and the body aches. I guess I’ll miss the guys most of all.

“I’ve had the privilege of playing alongside and against many great names of modern times; not just great players, but great men.

“To everyone I had the chance to share the field with, it was a pleasure. For a short time, we have the best job in the world. Never forget it.

Charles P. Patton