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JR12 Testimonial Year launched to celebrate career of Wales and British and Irish Lions great

Jamie Roberts, former Wales and British and Irish Lions centre kicks off a year of events in November to celebrate rugby career and raise money for the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity

Jamie Roberts

The JR12 Testimonial year will officially begin in November and comprise of a series of special events in Wales and London to celebrate Jamie Roberts’ illustrious rugby career. The year will provide opportunity for Jamie to thank those who have supported him throughout his time on the pitch and beyond. The JR12 Testimonial Year will also importantly raise money for the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity.

To mark the official launch, Jamie will be centre stage at an event on November 4th at the Principality Stadium, where he will be joined by former British and Irish Lions and Wales coach Warren Gatland CBE as well as former Wales and British and Irish Lions captain and player Sam Warburton OBE. The inaugural event will be hosted by Gabby Logan MBE and will be an evening to celebrate Jamie’s 17-year professional rugby career which has seen him amass over 250 appearances for clubs across the rugby world as well as 97 test caps for Wales and The British and Irish Lions.

All events over the course of the Testimonial Year will raise money for the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity, a Charity for which Jamie has been an ambassador for a number of years.

Jamie said: “I feel very privileged in the experiences I’ve had throughout my career; The places I’ve been and the people who have helped me experience what I have, of which there are so many. Events throughout the Testimonial Year will hopefully give me an opportunity to raise and share a glass with as many of those people as possible.”

“The year will also raise money for a wonderful Charity that is very close to my heart, the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity.”

Jamie added: “I’ve been an ambassador for the charity for some years and I’ve witnessed first-hand their dedication and how their work impacts families across Wales. Being both a Medicine Graduate and a father of two young children has certainly given insight as to how important their work is in supporting the youngest members of society and their families through what can be very challenging times. I feel honoured to be an Ambassador for such an important Charity in our community, and I’m hoping that events and celebrations held during the course of this year allow us to raise valuable funds.”

Director of the Noah’s Ark Charity, Suzanne Mainwaring, said: “We are delighted that such a Welsh great as Jamie has chosen the children of Wales to benefit from his Testimonial Year.

“As a charity, Noah’s Ark supports the specialist and often lifesaving care of 73,000 children a year which is enough to fill almost every seat in the Principality Stadium.

“The money raised during Jamie’s Testimonial will make a real and lasting difference – helping to fund new and innovative medical equipment and facilities and by supporting children and families through our emotional support service and the much-loved play specialist team.  It will also help us to make the hospital a less frightening and more familiar place for children by sprinkling a little fun and happiness into hospital days.

“Jamie has been a huge advocate of the Charity since he became an ambassador in 2016 and we are very much looking forward to supporting him during the exciting year ahead.  Diolch Jamie.”

Welsh Entrepreneur Hayley Parsons OBE, who will be chairing the Testimonial Committee for Jamie, had this to say: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be supporting Jamie during his Testimonial year and helping him celebrate his rugby career. Jamie not only shone on the rugby pitch, but he is also an extremely talented person who manages to succeed in whatever he chooses to do. It’s going to be a fabulous year celebrating everything Jamie has achieved so far in his career, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for him. We’ve assembled a great ‘squad’ of committee members and others to bring this Testimonial Year to life through a handful of what promises to be unique and memorable events.”

Jamie Roberts began his rugby career in 2005 and has accumulated over 250 professional club appearances for clubs in five countries across three continents: Cardiff Blues, Racing Metro, Harlequins, Bath, Stormers and The Dragons. Jamie played his final season for The Waratahs Super Rugby side in Sydney, before deciding to hang up his boots in July this summer.

Jamie earned a total of 94 test caps for Wales between 2008 and 2017, that included two Grand Slams and three Six Nations titles under coach Warren Gatland. He also won three caps for the British and Irish Lions during their tours in 2009 and 2013, as well as being named ‘Player of The Series’ on their tour to South Africa in 2009. Jamie also appeared in 45 consecutive Six Nations matches for Wales, a National record held alongside Sir Gareth Edwards. Jamie was deemed by many as Wales’ most influential player in Warren Gatland’s game plan during his tenure.

Rugby formed only one part of Jamie’s life. Whilst playing on the international stage he completed a medical degree at Cardiff University, a BSc at UWIC and later went on to study both an MPhil at Cambridge University and an MBA at Loughborough University.

After announcing his retirement in July 2022, the JR12 Testimonial Year will begin in November 2022.