Roberts to shape Quins history, says O’Shea

Ross McLean
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New Quins signing Roberts has won 69 caps for Wales
HARLEQUINS boss Conor O’Shea believes new signing Jamie Roberts will make a considerable imprint on the history of the club after the Wales centre completed his move to the Twickenham Stoop ahead of next season.

Two-time Six Nations Grand Slam champion Roberts, who has won 69 international caps, joins Harlequins after spending two years in Paris with Top 14 side Racing Metro, following six seasons with Cardiff Blues.

The 28-year-old British and Irish Lion is set to link up with Harlequins after Wales’ World Cup exploits in the autumn and is likely to be available for selection from December.

“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,” said O’Shea.

“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.

“As a role model to all of our players, he will be someone we can all learn from.”

Harlequins, title winners in 2012, endured an underwhelming campaign this season, finishing a disappointing eighth in the Premiership and missing out on qualification for the European Champions Cup.

O’Shea has already made moves to reinforce his squad with the signings of Roberts’s former Wales team-mate Adam Jones, Australia second row James Horwill, Scotland wing Tim Visser and Samoa centre Winston Stanley.

Already a qualified doctor, Roberts will study for a Masters degree in medical science at Cambridge University while at the club, and insists the strength of the Harlequins playing staff will ensure the disappointment of this season will be an exception to the rule.

Roberts said: “When 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.”