British and Irish Lions: Jamie Roberts determined to deliver in series decider
Last Updated: 03/07/13 11:01pm
Jamie Roberts: Starts at inside centre for Saturday's series decider against Australia
Jamie Roberts is keen to make up for lost time in the British and Irish Lions' series decider against Australia on Saturday.
The centre missed the first two Tests due to a hamstring injury but returns to partner Wales teammate Jonathan Davies in Sydney, with Brian O'Driscoll a shock absentee.
Roberts is concentrated on the biggest match of his career as the Lions bid for a first series triumph since 1997 in South Africa.
"Bar maybe a World Cup final, I doubt there is a bigger game in rugby for us boys," said the 26-year-old.
"You just have to get completely excited about it, not shy away from it, not get nervous. It's just pure excitement, go out and express yourself, keep your concentration and deliver under pressure.
"I see it as a responsibility. I've been picked to do a job and it is important I deliver. I've always thought that I thrive under pressure in big games, it's where I like to play.
"The higher the pressure, the more responsibility is put on me, the more I thrive and the more I enjoy it.
"I am on my second (Lions) tour now, and I think any player who is on their second or third tour who has played quite a bit of international rugby, you have to take responsibility. That is something I enjoy and thrive on.
"I see myself as one of those guys who has to lead the way.
"It will be big mind games on Saturday, a huge mental challenge as well as a physical one. It is about staying completely focused."
Roberts and O'Driscoll formed a formidable centre partnership during the 2009 tour of South Africa, but the Irishman has now effectively played his last Lions Test.
"Thousands of people have said it before me and thousands of people will say it after me, Brian is one of the most incredible players I have played with or against in rugby union," said Roberts.
"He will be remembered as a Lions legend, I am sure.
"Brian is a leader, I've tasted that playing alongside him. He's a force, and it is up to me and Jon now to lead the way in midfield and take that responsibility and thrive under the pressure."