Prev Game: International Match Sat 21st Jun

prev game - Wales
team 1 score team 2
South Africa 31 - 30 Wales

Next Game: International Match Sat 8th Nov

next game - Wales
team 1 score team 2
Wales 14:30 Australia

Jamie Roberts admits Wales are hurting ahead of New Zealand showdown

Last Updated: 20/11/12 11:51pm

  • Share:
Jamie Roberts: 'Hurting' after defeat to Samoa

Jamie Roberts: 'Hurting' after defeat to Samoa

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Wales centre Jamie Roberts has urged his team-mates to "make a statement" when they tackle New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

The current formbook suggests another punishing day at the office for Wales, who have suffered successive defeats against Argentina and Samoa during a painful autumn series.

This week's visitors to Cardiff, New Zealand, meanwhile, are on a 19-Test unbeaten run and have not experienced defeat against Wales since 1953.

"It is hugely important we make a statement,'' said Roberts, who will win his 47th cap and be reunited with last season's World Cup and Six Nations midfield partner Jonathan Davies, who has recovered from a groin injury to start.

"There is more pressure on us after losing two games of the series. We hope people will see the best of us this week.

"We were very disappointed after Friday night (against Samoa), and it was a tough weekend. We had quite a lot of people asking what is going wrong.

"Nobody is hurting more than the players. It is frustrating because of the high standards we have set ourselves over the last 12 months.

"We have sort of set a benchmark with what we have achieved and created an expectation of our performance. We have come under that significantly in the last two weeks, and it has been hugely frustrating.''

Magic wand

Wales players have found themselves in the firing line on social media and from ex-players. The reigning RBS Six Nations champions and last year's World Cup semi-finalists have now lost five successive Tests.

"We need to pull together and it is only the players who can turn this around. There is no magic wand. We just have to work hard,'' Roberts added.

"Senior players are important in any side and I see myself as one of those players.

"We have to stand up and I have found the same situation with the (Cardiff) Blues this season. When results are going badly the fingers are pointed at the coaches and the senior players, and you can't avoid that. It is the nature of the best.

"It is all very well for ex-players to come out and say what they think.

"I am sure looking back when they were players, these same guys would not feel best pleased with comments from former internationals.

"Twitter and Facebook is a public forum that many fans feel they can abuse players on. People hide behind their keyboards and it is different if they came up to you and said those same things to your face.

"But it is freedom of speech and people can say what they want on there. If people feel the need to abuse players on there, then so be it. I am old enough and strong enough not to take any of that to heart.

"Some of the abuse is actually quite entertaining. We have to be mature and savvy enough to realise it is just people sitting behind their computers abusing you.''

Roberts has been in four Wales teams against the All Blacks, suffering four defeats as New Zealand scored a total of 119 points and conceded just 40.

But the 26-year-old has no doubt that taking on the All Blacks is just what Wales need, despite failing to beat Argentina and Samoa.

"To play against the best side in the world, and probably the best team ever to have played the game, is such a motivation,'' he said.

"The chance to take on the All Blacks is a magical and unique experience. And we have to play rugby against them. We can't afford to tighten up our game and be robotic in our approach.

"We need to match these guys physically and defend hard as a unit, but we also need to go out and play with flair and produce a brand of rugby which we know can play.''

  • Share:


QBE Autumn Internationals

Stuart Lancaster: Has backed Billy Twelvetrees after the centre's uneven performance against Australia

Midfield frustrates Lancaster

England coach Stuart Lancaster admits to midfield frustration in the win over Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.

Time to deliver

Sir Clive Woodward told The Rugby Club that England must make a statement in the Autumn Internationals.

Tom Youngs: Featured for the British and Irish Lions during the summer

Youngs: England want revenge

Tom Youngs says England go into Saturday's match against Australia at Twickenham seeking revenge.

Most Popular


Hard Yarde

Hard Yarde

Marland Yarde gives Sky Sports the inside track on England's second Test defeat to the All Blacks.

High Stakes

High Stakes

Ahead of England's tour to New Zealand, Joe Launchbury speaks to Sky Sports.

Wondrous Wilkinson

Wondrous Wilkinson

From Newcastle to Toulon, via Australia; Sky Sports looks back at the remarkable career of Jonny Wilkinson.