Welsh rugby player Jamie Roberts announces retirement from sport aged 35

Welsh rugby player Jamie Roberts retires at 35. Credit: PA

Welsh rugby legend Jamie Roberts has officially announced his retirement from the sport.

Roberts' glittering sporting career began in 2005, with him going on to play for a number of clubs including Cardiff RFC, Cardiff Blues and Dragons in 2020.

The 35-year-old's final stint saw him at Waratahs Super Rugby side in Sydney before deciding to hang up his boots for good.

'I'm proud to finish knowing I found my calling at number 12'

The sporting sensation won a total of 94 caps for Wales between 2008 and 2017, including Grand Slams and Six Nations title triumphs under Warren Gatland, and three for the British and Lions on their tours in 2009 and 2013.

In his retirement post, Roberts concluded "I guess most of all I'll miss the lads". Credit: PA

In a Twitter post, Roberts wrote: "The time feels right."

He added: "As I reach the end of my professional playing career, I'm retiring with an immense sense of gratitude for what the sport has provided me. Having given everything in body and mind, the game of Rugby has given me more than I could have ever dreamt of in return.

"Our wonderful sport has impacted my life far beyond the white lines of the playing field; I guess its values have defined my attitude and approach to life and certainly shaped who I am today."

The former player thanked his parents for their support right from the beginning: "To my parents Jackie and Norman; taking me to my first Rugby session as a six year old lit a fire in me that would eventually inspire me to achieve in the sport.

Roberts celebrating Wales' Grand Slam win after beating France at the Principality Stadium back in 2012. Credit: PA

"Your support has been unwavering and for that I'm forever grateful. Throughout my youth, my school teachers and age grade coaches were a huge inspiration. Thank you for being my mentors and your commitment to nurturing my talent.

"Much hard work is done beyond the players on the field; from coaches to kitmen, referees to touch judges, S&C to medical staff, chefs to analysts, boardroom staff to groundstaff. There are countless others.

"So many wonderful people and characters across all the environments I've been fortunate to be involved in. I thank you all.

"To the most important people in our sport, the supporters. I can't thank you enough for the love and kindness down the years. From beers in the bar after a game, a selfie in the street, or a conversation in the supermarket, the relationship with the supporters is one I have cherished my whole career and I hope will continue well past my playing days."

As well as his rugby achievements, Roberts also boasts an array of medical qualifications, including a medical degree from Cardiff University and a MPhil at Cambridge University.

Roberts, who is currently working in South Africa as a pundit, was called back on duty with the national squad when they were short of players in training. It came just hours ahead of announcing his retirement to help the team prepare for Saturday’s (July 9) deciding Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

Concluding his retirement statement, Roberts said he'll miss his teammates: "I'll miss the changing room, the matchday buzz and the aches and pains. I guess most of all I'll miss the lads.

The sporting sensation won a total of 94 caps for Wales throughout his career. Credit: PA

"I've had the privilege of playing alongside and against many of the modern day greats; not just great players but great men. I'll forever appreciate being able to rub shoulders with some brilliant guys that I've learnt a huge amount from. To all those I've been fortunate to share the field with, it was a pleasure. For a short while, we have the best job in the world. Never forget it.

"I finish with some incredible memories and a heart full. I'm proud to finish knowing I found my calling at number 12. That battle on the advantage line defined me on and off the field. Time to spend some quality time with Nicole and our two wonderful children Tom & Elodie.

"Signing off from (across) the gainline. JR (Doc)."