Rugby Union

‘Gods smile’ on Jamie Roberts ahead of Lions-Australia decider

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Jamie Roberts feels like the luckiest man in rugby as he prepares to face Australia in a crucial third test for the British & Irish Lions this weekend.

The Welsh centre missed the opening two matches through injury, but returns to the starting XV in time for the decider in Sydney on Saturday.

Roberts thought his tour was over when he was helped off the pitch during the tour match against New South Wales, but he’s raring to go and aiming to prove Warren Gatland right after being included ahead of Brian O’Driscoll.

“As soon as I was walking off the pitch I thought I was going home. I have to say a massive thanks to the medical team here,” he told reporters ahead of the ANZ Stadium showdown.

“Throughout the tour, you look at how Tommy (Bowe) has come back from injury, and hopefully I can go out and give them a performance on Saturday because I owe a huge amount to them.

“I had a scan the day after the injury, and then they sat me down and said they would keep me on tour, that they would stay positive, and do everything in their power to get me fit. It’s worked in my favour. The Gods have smiled on me.”

Speaking more specifically about his centre partnership with Jonathan Davies, the Racing Metro-bound star is confident finding form immediately won’t be an issue.

The duo have former a formidable pairing at the heart of the Wales back-line, and now have the chance to make a statement in the southern hemisphere after dominating the Six Nations.

“The last three years with Jon, I think we have become the most capped centre partnership Welsh rugby has seen. We’ve got experience, we’ve played together a lot,” he added.

“Jon, for me, has been one of the standout players of this tour. His all-round game is pretty special, he’s a great athlete, he can kick a ball, he is a good distributor and he has got an eye for space.

“Hopefully, the dimension I bring in attack and defence can help him unleash his attributes as well. That goes for all the backs. It’s not just about my game and what I bring, it’s about what I can add to the back-line line dimension."

The pressure is certainly on the pair to perform against the Wallabies, and if the result doesn’t go the way of the Lions, then questions will be asked over O’Driscoll’s omission.

British & Irish Lions
Rugby Union
Australia Rugby
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