No repeat for Roberts

Jamie Roberts says Wales' recent woes against the Qantas Wallabies have left him and his 14 national colleagues with added motivation ahead of the 125th anniversary British & Irish Lions Tour. [more]

No repeat for Roberts

Jamie Roberts says Wales’ recent woes against the Qantas Wallabies have left him and his 14 national colleagues with added motivation ahead of the 125th anniversary British & Irish Lions Tour.

The Lions kick off their 10-match adventure against The Barbarians on Saturday, before heading south for nine more fixtures, including a three-Test series with Robbie Deans’ troops Down Under.

Roberts and the rest of the Welsh contingent have lost their last eight games against the Qantas Wallabies, with a number of those coming in heartbreaking circumstances.

The last three defeats have been particularly painful, with the Australians conjuring up last gasp wins in Melbourne, Sydney and Cardiff.

Roberts was at the centre of Wales’ last Wallaby win five years ago when he was involved in a sickening collision with Stirling Mortlock that saw both men leave the field but the Blues centre knows that a repeat result is now well overdue.

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''Me and Mortlock bashed heads in 2008, so I got credit for winning us the game by taking the captain out of the game! Since then I haven't beaten Australia and that's a huge factor,'' said Roberts.

''I played in that game in November when we lost to that last-minute try to Kurtley Beale. It was probably the toughest result to take.

''It was absolutely brutal, losing in that fashion, but that becomes motivation. You learn with each game you lose and you have to use it as motivation to win next time around.

''Everyone's motivated to beat Australia. From our part of the world, Australia is viewed as a country that prides itself hugely on its sporting background and heritage.

''To beat Australia away from home is a huge goal of everyone in the squad. Hopefully we can come together, be a stronger force as one and beat the Wallabies.''

Much has been made of the large Welsh presence in Gatland’s 37-man squad but Roberts insists that doesn’t mean The Lions will simply play the Welsh way.

Instead he expects his international coach to adapt his style to what will suit Britain and Ireland’s elite, although he still predicts that a combination of power and pace will come to the fore in some way or another.

''I can't give too much away but it's a completely different group of players and you have to adapt your game plan according to what sort of players you have in the team,'' added Roberts.

''Warren has picked very good rugby players, very big athletes and guys who can cross the gain line and play an expansive game but also play a power-based game.

''I think we have to adapt our game accordingly, it will be interesting to see how we go in the provincial games leading up to the Tests. By choosing that sort of player, it gives us options to… chop and change our game plan accordingly.''

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