Jamie Roberts is expecting one of the toughest challenges of his career when Wales face the All Blacks in November.
The centre, who captained Wales on their tour of Tonga and Samoa in June, narrowly missed out on selection for The British & Irish Lions this summer. He was a hero of the Lions’ third Test win in Australia in 2013 and was the Lions’ Player of the Series on 2009’s Tour of South Africa, appearing in two Tests.
And having won 96 caps in a decade at the top of the sport, Roberts knows that a match against the double-World Champions is one of rugby’s most demanding challenges.
Speaking to WRU TV, Roberts said: “It probably is the greatest challenge. I’ve been fortunate to do it a number of times in my life whether that’s with Wales or the Barbarians.
“They are the best team in the world and they are the best team in the world for a reason. They are ruthless for 80 minutes, and the skillset of all their players in pretty special. You know you’re in for the toughest game of your career.”
Roberts expects the pace and psychological demands of the game to be at the very highest level.
The 30-year-old added: “(It’s) maybe not the most physical but certainly the most demanding mentally and the quickest. The pace of the game when you play against the All Blacks is unlike anything you’ve experienced before and mentally the most demanding. They are always asking questions.”
Small wonder @AllBlacks game sold out, listening to @Jamiehuwroberts makes u want to play never mind watch! Aus, SA, Georgia tickets remain pic.twitter.com/eZ8xohZfcb
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) September 12, 2017
Wales will play the All Blacks on 25 November at the Principality Stadium in a 5.15pm kick-off. The match is already a sell-0ut though tickets for Wales’ other November matches are still available.