Jamie Roberts suited to England move says Nicky Robinson

Jamie Roberts has won 69 Wales caps and three for the British and Irish Lions
Jamie Roberts has won 69 Wales caps and three for the British and Irish Lions

Jamie Roberts' former team-mate Nicky Robinson expects the Wales centre to join an English club next.

The 28-year-old British and Lion is reported to be leaving French club Racing Metro at the end of the season.

Roberts has been linked with Ospreys and Cardiff Blues in Wales, probably on a Welsh Rugby Union dual contract, but Robinson says England is more likely.

"Knowing Jamie he would probably like to experience something a bit different," Robinson said.

"There's probably a part of him that would maybe enjoy the bright lights of a another big city and I don't think you could blame him for that.

"To be able to play in the [English] Premiership would be something he'd enjoy; he's obviously enjoyed playing in France and to come to a big English club and to try himself there would be good."

Fly-half Nicky Robinson will join Oyonnax in France from English side Bristol next season
Fly-half Nicky Robinson will join Oyonnax in France from English side Bristol next season

If Roberts was to return to Wales on a national dual contract, then his former region Cardiff Blues would have first refusal.

Robinson expects him to return to the Welsh capital at some point but thinks a move to England would suit the centre.

"He's probably young enough that he doesn't need to be looked after that much, something like a couple of years in England maybe before he possibly comes back to finish his career in Cardiff.

"I know he's said about coming back there and if he goes back there now he probably won't be moving anywhere after that."

Robinson, who won 13 Wales caps, played with Roberts at Cardiff Blues before moving across the border to Gloucester in 2009.

The fly-half also played for Wasps and Bristol in England, and has signed for French side Oyonnax for next season on a three-year deal.

"The Premiership is a great league to play in, the competitiveness is probably very similar to the French Top 14 week in week out with slightly less travelling, and hopefully a few more away wins than they get in France.

"I think he would really enjoy that, the buzz of the big games that have there, especially some of those big derby matches they have in London - the Twickenham double header they have at the start of the year with 70,000 fans.

"Something like that would really suit Jamie and how he likes to perform on the big stage."

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