Roberts determined to reach 'another level'


Jamie Roberts is hopeful of representing Wales in the 2019 Rugby World Cup and has cited New Zealand's Ma'a Nonu as an inspiration as he aims to take his game to "another level".

A two-time tourist with the British Lions, Roberts was part of the Wales side that exited this year's World Cup at the quarter-final stage.

The powerful centre is taking a short break from top-flight rugby in order to study full-time for a term at Cambridge University, but will soon link up with new club Harlequins.

Asked by Wales Online if he can make the next Lions tour in 2017, together with the World Cup two years later, Roberts said: "I hope so."

The 29-year-old added: "I need to proactively look after my body especially because of the physical manner in which I play and I've had quite a few operations. I have to improve on what I've done in my career so far and that's one of the primary reasons to take this break.

"It will also be good to play in another league with Harlequins and firstly, I'm looking to settle there. Then I will be looking at the Six Nations - there is a Wales tour of New Zealand next summer."

Discussing his desire to improve as a player, Roberts said: "My main aim is to go to another level. I need to enhance my passing and kicking skills, as well as building on my carrying.

"You just have to look at someone like Ma'a Nonu in the World Cup final and the way he has evolved his game. He is 33. I need to develop my skills but there are subtleties involved.

"I've spoken to [Wales coach] Warren Gatland about this during the World Cup. We talked about what I need to improve on and have taken that on board. I'm looking forward to challenging myself and proving there is more to my game."

Roberts was linked with a move to Cardiff Blues before agreeing to join Harlequins and has not ruled out returning to his former club in future.

"I would love to. Cardiff is a special place to me and I have met some special people," he added.

"The older you get, the more you appreciate that. I came through the Blues system and am grateful to Justin Burnell and Dai Young who gave me my chance.

"It would be great to come back and hopefully I'm still playing at the top level. But I am living this life now and that's all for the future."