BBC Sport rugbyunionwelsh

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 13:57 GMT, Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Roberts not fazed by utility tag

Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Saturday, 8 November Kick-off: 1430 GMT Coverage: Live on BBC One, Radio Wales & online. Highlights on Scrum V, BBC Two (Sunday, 1800 GMT). Live text commentary on BBC Sport website


Jamie Roberts
Jamie Roberts is poised for his fourth cap in as many positions

Jamie Roberts says he does not mind his utility-player tag as he prepares to play against South Africa in his fourth position in as many caps.

Roberts is set to appear in Wales' number 13 jersey after winning his first three caps at 14, 15 and 12.

The Cardiff Blue said: "I'm a young man trying to establish myself in the team so I don't mind changing position.

"Playing a different position can be a bit un-nervy at times, but it's going well in training."

Roberts' likely selection at outside centre would allow Wales coach Warren Gatland to accommodate Gavin Henson in the number 12 jersey.

Roberts, who celebrates his 22nd birthday on Saturday, added: "It could be a future quiz question.

"I've always said would be a dream come true to don the red jersey regardless of what position it is.

MY SPORT: DEBATE
Roberts made his Wales debut against Scotland in the Six Nations at right wing before switching to full-back, then inside centre in the June tour Test defeats in South Africa.

He said: "The centre positions are similar, but obviously the defensive aspects are a bit different.

"The way rugby is nowadays everyone is similar across the backline."

Roberts is looking forward to taking on the Springboks again after playing full-back and inside centre against them on the summer tour last June.

He said: "We are targeting the first game and see what comes from there. It's a huge game for us on Saturday.

"Hopefully we will get a big crowd and it will be a special occasion."

Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards says a return of one win from the autumn clashes with the Springboks, New Zealand and Australia would be "fantastic".

Shaun Edwards
Edwards says Wales' November Tests are a step up in difficulty
Wales have beaten South Africa only once, claimed nine wins over Australia in 27 games and not beaten the All Blacks since 1953.

"Statistically looking at history you'd have to say percentage-wise one victory would be fantastic," he said.

"But it's not really for us to think too much far ahead to the Australia game, to the New Zealand game."

The Wasps head coach says Wales will do everything in their power to earn that all-important victory against a southern hemisphere power on Saturday.

He also believes taking on the world champions is the sport's most challenging task.

Edwards said: "We're playing the world champions in our own back yard and we're going to have all the passionate Welsh fans behind us and we're going to give it everything we've got.

"It's the ultimate challenge playing against the world champions.

"We realise we did very well in the Six Nations, but I think we all know this is a step up level from that."


Wales: Lee Byrne (Ospreys); Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), Gavin Henson (Ospreys), Shane Williams (Ospreys); Stephen Jones (Scarlets), Gareth Cooper (Gloucester); Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Ryan Jones (Ospreys, capt), Martyn Williams (Cardiff Blues), Andy Powell (Cardiff Blues).
Replacements: Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Duncan Jones (Ospreys), Ian Gough (Ospreys), Dafydd Jones (Scarlets), Dwayne Peel (Sale Sharks), James Hook (Ospreys), Tom Shanklin (Cardiff Blues).

South Africa: Conrad Jantjes; JP Pietersen, Adrian Jacobs, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana; Ruan Pienaar, Fourie du Preez; Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, John Smit (capt), Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield, Schalk Burger, Juan Smith, Pierre Spies.
Replacements: Brian Mujati, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Andries Bekker, Ryan Kankowski, Ricky Januarie, Frans Steyn, Jaque Fourie.

Print Sponsor


see also
London Irish 23-19 Ospreys
02 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
Mighty Boks: South African rugby
01 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Northern rocks: Canadian rugby
21 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
All Blacks magic: New Zealand rugby
21 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Wallaby wonders: Aussie rugby
21 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
28 Oct 08 |  Wales
Coming up next on Scrum V...
27 Oct 08 |  Welsh


related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites