Bath boss Todd Blackadder has described the club’s capture of Wales international centre Jamie Roberts as “a really significant signing.”
Roberts, 31, will join Bath at the end of this season from their Aviva Premiership rivals Harlequins, the west country club have announced.
He has won 94 caps and played in three Tests for the British and Irish Lions.
Roberts did not make the cut for Wales’ NatWest 6 Nations squad this season, and he last represented his country against world champions New Zealand four months ago.
He had been linked with a possible move to Japan, but Bath have now swooped to secure his services.
“Jamie needs no introduction,” Bath rugby director Blackadder said, in a club statement.
“He is a player with vast experience with two Lions tours and close to 100 caps for his country under his belt. We are delighted to bring someone of his quality to the club, and I know he will make an instant impact when he comes in this summer.
“He is hugely respected, both on and off the field, and it’s those qualities which make this a really significant signing for the club.
“Not only that, but he is hugely ambitious and I believe that both Bath and Wales will reap the rewards from this move.”
Roberts added: “I am really excited to have signed for Bath Rugby. It is a club with a great deal of ambition, which was crucial in making my decision to come here.
“There is no doubt that Bath can mix it with the best in both the Premiership and in Europe over the next few years, and I am looking forward to being part of the journey.”
He will become the latest Wales international to be part of Bath’s squad, joining up with the likes of fly-half Rhys Priestland, lock Luke Charteris and number eight Taulupe Faletau.
Roberts joined Quins from French club Racing 92 in 2015, having previously played for Cardiff Blues.
In a statement, Quins rugby director John Kingston said: “Jamie has been a model professional throughout his time at the club.
Roberts to leave Harlequins at the end of the season https://t.co/5FVmJAs2Rp— Harlequins 🃏 (@Harlequins) March 14, 2018
“After much thought and reflection, it was decided that we would not be able to offer him a contract extension at the end of the season.
“His experience, focus and determination will be missed, but I have no doubt whatsoever that he will remain fully committed to the club until the end of the season.”
Quins recently announced the signing of Bath centre Ben Tapuai, who will move to the London club this summer.