Roberts 'absolutely certain' over move
November 8, 2012
Jamie Roberts looks set to play for Racing Metro next term © Getty Images
Roberts is strongly rumoured to have signed for Racing Metro ahead of next season and the Blues confirmed on Thursday that they failed in their bid to keep the British & Irish Lions centre at the Arms Park. Roberts now looks set to join the likes of Mike Phillips and James Hook in the Top 14 Orange despite Rob Howley's warning to France-based players earlier this week.
The interim coach picked Tavis Knoyle at scrum-half ahead of Mike Phillips for their match with Argentina on Saturday and Howley revealed that part of the reason behind the Scarlets' half-back's selection was due to his availability for their training camp in Spala. Phillips was unable to attend the camp due to his Bayonne commitments while the players picked by Howley who are turning out in Wales all attended due to an agreement between the regions and the Welsh Rugby Union.
If Roberts does move to France then his new side will not be obliged to release him for Test duty outside of the designated international windows which may see Wales-based players get the nudge over him in the pecking order. But Roberts is relishing the chance to take in a new challenge and re-iterated his desire to continue turning out for Wales.
"I am proud of what I have achieved so far in my rugby playing career and remain determined to continue to aspire to win international honours for Wales," Roberts told Wales Online. "This has been an extremely difficult decision, but I am absolutely certain it is the correct time for me to enter a new stage of my career.
"My intention is to emerge from the experience of playing for a new team as a better rugby player and to broaden my personal horizons in a new environment. I owe a great deal to Wales and to Welsh rugby and I retain today the pride I felt in 2008 when I first pulled on the international jersey for my country of birth.
"As professional players, we work immensely hard and there comes a time when you know that a fresh environment will help you retain the sharp edge of determination required to remain a contender for top honours. I have enjoyed an incredible time at Cardiff Blues in the company of some great players, coaches, administrators and fans who have helped shape my career.
"I will complete my medical training in March and currently have the opportunity to step outside the academic environment for a couple of years before I take up my required hospital training period."
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