Roberts: I will always be a Cardiff boy
April 15, 2013
Jamie Roberts is expected to confirm a move to Top 14 side Racing Metro later this week © Getty Images
Cardiff Blues centre Jamie Roberts admitted he will miss the Arms Park after making his last appearance at the historic ground ahead of a move to Top 14 side Racing Metro.
Roberts crossed for a second half try in the Blues' 28-13 victory over Zebre to the delight of a capacity 10,000 crowd that had come to bid the Wales international farewell with their final two league games away from home. "There was no way I was going to pass!" Roberts told the Western Mail. "It was great to score in my last game at the Arms Park which is something I will remember."
The 26-year-old is expected to confirm his cross-Channel switch this week but insists his heart will always belong to the Welsh capital. "It will be hard to leave and I will always be a Cardiff boy, " he said. "I am still relatively young and would like to think I will come back one day. As a young guy who has grown up in Cardiff and gone through the whole system of primary, secondary and university education, I have never left this city.
"Now the university chapter has come to a close I have a chance to do something new with my life. I have taken that opportunity by flying the nest and try something new. Having spoken to a lot of senior players who have retired from the game and my parents, you have to take these chances. It will be a challenge going to a new place and it might get a bit lonely at times. But you only start living when you get outside of your comfort zone."
Roberts, who helped Wales to the Six Nations crown earlier this year, will receive the results of his final medical exams today and is expected to earn selection for the British & Irish Lions tour to Australia later this month, after which he will embark on the latest chapter of his career with the star-studded Racing Metro.
"This is hugely important eight years of my life will come into one email which is pretty brutal," he said. "I have worked very hard for my exams and the last three months have been a huge challenge and a bit of a blur. If I can complete this it will be another major challenge completed."
On the challenge that awaits him in France next season, he said: "There are so many factors I am looking forward to. There is a different environment with new players and coaches, challenging myself in a new league and the prospect of discovering a new city. I had a chance to do something new at 26 which I couldn't turn down."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin