Lion ready to roar

2009 Lions Man of the Series Jamie Roberts has declared he is fitter, faster and hungrier than ever ahead of the 2011 RBS 6Nations. [more]

Lion ready to roar

2009 Lions Man of the Series Jamie Roberts has declared he is fitter, faster and hungrier than ever ahead of the 2011 RBS 6Nations.

Cardiff Blues centre Roberts will make his first Wales appearance in almost eight months against the 'old enemy' on Friday following wrist surgery.

Despite the frustration of a spell on the sidelines Roberts, who made five appearances during the tour of South Africa, believes it gave him the chance to add to his game.

Top of the list was the need for speed and Roberts is now behind only Shane Williams and Leigh Halfpenny, having shaved more than an a tenth of a second off his ten-metre times.

Now he has warned England that he is back to his rampaging best and ready to roar in the Six Nations.

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"I was gutted to be out for so long," said 24-year-old Roberts.

"It was horrible watching the autumn series from the sidelines but I hope the injury was a blessing in disguise.

"I'm fresh now for the Six Nations and raring to go. It feels like I'm winning my first cap again so I want to make a big impression.

"During my time out, I worked really hard with fitness coaches Adam Beard and Frans Bosch on my speed because running was an issue. My running efficiency and technique was an area I needed to improve on.

"At the start, it was hard to sprint because my wrist was in a cast. But once I became comfortable with running again, I spent hours on my speed.

"I had a personal best on my speed over 10 metres a couple of months ago. I feel more efficient in my running during games now and my repeated speed is comfortable.

"It's great to see all the hard work pay off but I'm striving for perfection. I've also worked on my passing and kicking too. I can't afford to rest on my laurels with the competition for places.

"You have to impress in training and be on the money in everything you do. I want to take my game to the next level.

"The last time I pulled on a Wales shirt I scored a try in New Zealand which is a fond memory, so I'm itching to pull it again."

"There's no bigger game than facing England. It is something special and the ultimate game for me.

"The Six Nations is steeped in history and in particularly this contest. There is an extra spice among the fans with banter flying between your Welsh and England mates.

"And on the pitch it's the same. The players have the same feelings as a senior citizen sitting in a pub in mid-Wales watching the game over a pint. Friday night in Cardiff is going to be electric.

"Getting the first win in any Six Nations campaign is vital as winning breeds confidence. We need a result and what better way by beating England.

"We have beaten them first up in 2005 and 2008 and snowballed on to win Grand Slams so let's hope history can repeat itself.

"The 2008 win sticks out for me. I hadn't made my debut by then but I was travelling reserve at Twickenham. Nobody gave us a chance of winning but we silenced Twickenham that day.

"The game was incredible and I remember coming back to Wales on the coach, having a few beers with the lads and then two months later we were Grand Slam champions."

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