Cardiff Blues secure Leicester centre

Leicester’s Welsh centre Jack Roberts will join the Cardiff Blues next season after agreeing a long-term deal with the Pro12 outfit.

The 25-year-old former Wales age-grade player joined Leicester from Rotherham in 2014 and has made 28 first-team appearances for the Tigers.

Roberts said: “I’m really happy with the season I’ve had so far, it couldn’t have gone better for me. Circumstances have worked in my favour but luckily I have been able to take the opportunities and it’s been great to be involved so much.

“I’ve learnt so much. Every game at this level tests you so the more experience I get the better.

“I’m really looking forward to joining Cardiff Blues. It’s an exciting place and I’ve taken a big interest in their games this season. They are playing good rugby and their playing style and the pitch at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park suits my game.

“Coming from Leicester there has been plenty of competition, that’s part of playing at this level and at such big clubs as Leicester and Cardiff Blues. It’s something you have to embrace and use to your advantage.

“Coming back to Wales was also a big pull. I lived in Cardiff for three years while I was at university and really enjoyed it. I’ve not played regional rugby so I’m really excited about this opportunity.

“I would like to thank everyone at Leicester for the opportunities and support they have given me. I’ve been fortunate enough to be coached by some fantastic coaches and play alongside some world-class players. The supporters are second to none and I will be giving everything I can from now until the end of the season to ensure we reach our goals.”

Cardiff Blues Head Coach Danny Wilson added: “Jack is one of the most exciting young talents in the Premiership and has had a brilliant season so far with Leicester.

“He is an abrasive and powerful centre, who offers something a little bit different to the players we currently have.

“Jack’s obviously a proud Welshman so we are pleased to bring him back to Wales and look forward to his arrival in the summer.”

Leicester also announced that four players have extended their deals at Welford Road; Jonno Kitto, Greg Bateman, Mike Fitzgerald and Brendon O’Connor all signed undisclosed new contracts.

Scrum-half Kitto joined the Tigers from the Chiefs Super Rugby development squad in 2016 and despite being born in New Zealand he does qualify to play for England.

Bateman joined from Exeter in 2015 and has impressed the Leicester faithful having played in all three front-row positions this season and making a total of 29 appearances for the Tigers.

New Zealanders Fitzgerald and O’Connor both arrived from Super Rugby sides the Chiefs and the Blues in 2015 and have both extended their stays in England.

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