Heineken Cup: Racing Metro duo Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate enjoying change of scene
Last Updated: 10/10/13 12:38pm
Jamie Roberts: Will miss Racing Metro's opening Heineken Cup games through injury
Racing Metro's Jamie Roberts is enjoying life in France following his move from Cardiff Blues this summer despite the initial challenges he faced.
The French club get their Heineken Cup campaign underway on Sunday as they meet last season's finalists Clermont but Roberts has been ruled out through injury.
Injury is an accepted part of the game but the Wales centre admits that there were some aspects of moving to Paris that were completely new to him.
"You have to challenge yourself and it's completely alien and it's tough for the first couple of weeks," Roberts told Sky Sports. "It's very hard; you're trying to adjust to your new surroundings.
Jamie Roberts enjoying life in France
"You start learning a lot about yourself, I grew up in Cardiff, I went to school there, I stayed there for university and you know, everyone lives rugby back home - you can't really escape it outside of training, whereas as here you can completely immerse yourself in the city."
Roberts is not the only Welshman to make the move to the French capital with Dan Lydiate making the switch from Newport Gwent Dragons whilst Ireland and Lions fly-half Jonny Sexton has also joined the duo at Racing Metro.
Lydiate too revealed that some things were difficult to get used to when he first moved but was no regrets about taking up the opportunity to play for the Top 14 club.
"It's sort of completely different to what I'm used to," he said. "Driving into work in the morning you see everyone queuing up at the patisseries for their baguettes and stuff.
"Everyone has their baguette on their shoulder walking down the street, it's the French stereotype but it's so true.
"It was time for me to make a change and rugby is only a short career so when an opportunity comes, I just thought if I don't go now I'll never go."
The focus for Racing is now on reaching the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup for the first time and Lydiate revealed that success in Europe, as well as domestic competition is what the club's president wants from the side.
"You have to challenge yourself and it's completely alien and it's tough for the first couple of weeks"
"The main message from the president is that he assembled a good squad here and we're expected to perform and push forward in all the competitions we're involved in," the flanker added.
There has been rumours that with the likes of Sam Warburton and Leigh Halfpenny's contracts expiring at the end of the season, that they may follow in the footsteps of a growing number of home nations' players plying their trade in France.
Roberts though, says the decision and the reasons for moving depend on the individual.
"It's completely different for me then it would've been for Dan Lydiate and it would've been to Jonny Sexton," he commented. "Each of us have made the move away from Wales for completely different reasons."
You can go behind-the-scenes with the British and Irish Lions in Australia tonight with 'Lions Raw' on Sky Sports 2HD at 10pm.