Back after an enforced absence from training, new signing Jamie Roberts and the rest of the squad are gearing up for next Friday’s quarter-final clash against Premiership form team Bristol Bears.
The vastly experienced centre recounted his return to Wales from South Africa, potentially facing the Lions this summer, the personal impact of rugby and next week’s quarter-final when he spoke to official Guinness PRO14 podcast The Late Hit. Hosted by Darren Cave, Jamie joined regular guests James Hook and John Barclay on this week’s pod. Watch the guys chatting here>>
After the Super Rugby season cut short and with no likely return to South Africa an option Roberts jumped at the chance to fulfil an ambition of returning to play in Wales and is enjoying life at the Dragons.
“I was in limbo for about four months, living in London, hoping that I might get a chance to go back to South Africa and then the opportunity came up back in Wales with the Dragons and I always wanted to come back to Wales and play here again before retired,” explained Roberts.
Next up for the Dragons is the stern test over the bridge at Ashton Gate. Roberts is relishing being back training and hoping to be involved in the quarter-final even after missing the two August re-start games.
“it's been awesome. It's a good challenge, there’s a good young group of lads, who have massive, massive potential, it's quite frightening actually, so it's been good to kind of get stuck in with those lads.
“I'd been there training for about 10 days and then I got positive test. I missed those two Guinness Pro14 games. One was probably coronavirus, and then I wasn't fit, because I hadn’t trained that whole week.
“We have this quarter final now, the European Challenge Cup quarter-final down at Bristol, Friday Night Lights, a week on Friday, so we're prepping for that.”
Roberts isn’t short on experience in the game or the big stage having played for some of the most glamorous teams in the game. As well as looking forward to the new campaign which is due to start in under a month, Jamie isn’t ruling out another career highlight this summer with the Lions set to tour South Africa.
“South Africa was different to anything I've experienced before. I've been lucky to kind of tie in lifestyle choices with my career in Paris and London and Bath. And then a chance came up to go and play in Cape Town and play Super Rugby. So I feel very grateful for the chance that came around to go and do it, it's something I wanted to grab with both hands, it wasn't one of those decisions that I ummed and ahed about at all.
“As a country South Africa is just immense, it’s one of the greatest countries on earth for me and Cape Town is the best place on the planet. You know I miss it massively It's a shame it ended after 10 weeks it's a bad disappointment but pales in comparison to what's going on.
“The rugby was tough, very physical which was stating the obvious when you talk about South Africa but we just had a great group.
“We were in discussions to play another season there , Super Rugby runs in January to June. So we were already having conversations around my year and playing against the Lions, it's an amazing opportunity if I did get the chance.”
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