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Waratahs sign former Lions centre Jamie Roberts

Chris Lee - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

The NSW Waratahs squad has been bolstered just weeks out from their opening match with the club signing former Wales and British & Irish Lions international Jamie Roberts on a one-year deal as injury cover.

The 94 Test veteran adds a wealth of knowledge and experience and will provide hard hitting ball-carrying to the Waratahs backline after Joey Walton was ruled out for the season.

Roberts joins Lalakai Foketi and Izaia Perese in the centres, both of whom recently made their Wallabies debuts in 2021 and will be determined to make their mark on the rebuilding side.

Currently playing for the Dragons in the United Rugby Championship, Roberts has continued to impress on the field, with new Waratahs coach Darren Coleman excited to bring the experienced talent into the side.

"Losing two of our centres in Joey Walton and Mosese Tuipulotu was a big blow as we view them as the future of the side. So, to be able to bring in a player with the experience and talent that Jamie has on an injury coverage contract is huge for us," Coleman said.

"Jamie has been playing at a consistently high level with Dragons in Wales this season and adds a really big body for go forward and is very sound defensively. He adds vital depth in our midfield and will complement the mix of players we currently have.

"Off the field he will also add a lot to the group and our team culture with his professionalism and experience."

Following a stellar career in Europe and a stint in South Africa, Roberts is excited to come to Sydney and make an impact for the Waratahs.

"I'm really excited to join the Waratahs. The adventure of playing in a new competition in a different country outside my comfort zone excites me." Roberts said.

"On the rugby front, I'm looking to hit the ground running, get up to speed quickly, perform on the pitch and help drive success.

"Hopefully I can impart some of my knowledge and insight to the talented youngsters on the team, keep improving as a player and keep developing as a person for what may come after." The 35-year-old will arrive in Sydney following his final match for the Dragons on 28 January.