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Page last updated at 17:32 GMT, Saturday, 29 November 2008
Autumn Tests 2008
8-29 November 2008



Stirling Mortlock and Jamie Roberts recieve treatment after their collison
Stirling Mortlock and Jamie Roberts clashed in the second minute in Cardiff

Wales centre Jamie Roberts has been rushed to hospital with a suspected fractured skull after clashing with Australia's Stirling Mortlock.

The Blues centre collided with Aussie skipper Mortlock in the second minute of Wales' 21-18 win in Cardiff.

Mortlock was immediately replaced but Roberts initially played on and was crucial in the build-up to Shane Williams' opening Wales try.

Wales fear Roberts will out for six weeks due to the severe injury.

"Jamie has sent us a text from hospital telling us he has a fractured skull," said Wales skills coach Rob Howley.

"That just sums up the team spirit - a guy is in hospital but sends a text message to the players who he has been playing with for the past three weeks.

"I think that is a testimony to the squad and the team spirit that Warren has achieved over the last three weeks."

The nasty collision left the two players prone on the ground.

Gatland proud of Wales performance

Mortlock left the field while Roberts carried on but the 22-year-old was later replaced by Andrew Bishop in the 18th minute.

Centre Mortlock was later described by Australia coach Robbie Deans as being "up and about."

Roberts, who started all four of Wales' autumn Tests, will miss the Cardiff Blues' Heineken Cup pool double-header against Biarritz next month.

Roberts' worrying injury was the only low point of Wales' first Tri Nations scalp in 12 attempts against an improving Australia side at the Millennium Stadium.

The Grand Slam champions were back to their Six Nations best as tries by Shane Williams and Lee Byrne inspired Wales to the only victory for a northern hemisphere side against their southern rivals this autumn.

"Someone had to carry the flag for the northern hemisphere, didn't they?" quipped Gatland.

"I think the result for us was the most important thing. We needed to get the win. I'm pretty proud of the performance and I think the best team won.

"The great rugby we played in the first half, I thought we should have been further in front.

"We get two, what I would consider, relatively easy shots at goal, which we miss.

"It was pretty tough being in the coaches box because we missed some scoring chances, I've got a few more grey hairs than I had this morning!

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"You need to keep the momentum up and we didn't do that and we had to grind it out in the end.

"The result is important for us."

Wales' Australian victory ends the autumn Test series on a high for Gatland after defeats to world champions South Africa and New Zealand.

"We've pushed some of the best teams in the world very close," he said.

"We've shown improvement and as a side we've earned some respect and admiration for Welsh rugby from around the world.

"We've still got a long way to go but I promise this team will continue to work hard.

"We'll be critical of our performances and be hard on ourselves because we want to be able to compete against the best teams in the world."

Wales captain Ryan Jones added: "We played some fantastic rugby and I think we proved we are capable of doing it against the top sides."

"There were some really special guys missing today and we did it for them.

"With the work ethic in this team and the coaches we have got, I think the sky is the limit."

Man-of-the-match Byrne hailed Wales' resilience to survive a late Australian comeback as the full-back added: "It's been a long time coming and we have been unlucky in the last couple of games - this was a must-win game today.

"It was a bit tense at the end and we all thought 'here we go again' but we stuck at it and our defence was superb."

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see also
Wales 21-18 Australia
29 Nov 08 |  Welsh
Williams try sets up Wales win
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Gatland proud of Wales performance
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Williams wins top rugby accolade
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Wales' rugby fixtures
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Wales rugby results archive
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Wallaby wonders: Aussie rugby
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Wales v Australia: Full record
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BBC Sport Wales coverage
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