Ludovic Mercier crazy reverse pass


Southland sensational try after big bump


Step and unbelievable dummy sets up try


Springboks edge All Blacks in thriller


Ben Funnell slamming tackle on Hawkins


Brian O'Driscoll Breakdown Masterclass


Ben Tameifuna massive fend on huge prop


Ben Flower red card for vicious punches


Female Streaker has no regrets

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Exclusive interview with Wales and British & Irish Lions center Jamie Roberts

Exclusive interview with Wales and British & Irish Lions center Jamie Roberts

Jamie Roberts attended an event in Newport last week where he, other Welsh players, and a group of youngsters all took part in Under Armour's Combine training. RD got an opportunity to ask him some questions, so here is the video interview with the highly rated center.

Roberts, who was named as the Lions player of the series against South Africa last year, is actually out of action right now after picking up a wrist injury in the second Test against the Springboks. He soldiered on, including touring New Zealand recently, but has since had an operation and will be out until the end of the year.

Despite being a full time professional rugby player, Jamie has managed to juggle that with being a medical student, as he aims to become qualified in the next few years. Rugby will take most of his focus for now, but it won't be long before he has something great to fall back on.

In this interview Jamie talks about the event with the Under Armour testing, but then also goes into detail about his injury, his younger days as a fullback, what he plans to specialise in, and gives his thoughts on this years Tri Nations.

He also then tells us who he thinks the best centres in world rugby are, who the toughest he's been up against is, the three best things about being a professional rugby player, and then gives some great advice for those out there wanting to achieve and get good value out of life.

In association with the Welsh Rugby Union, sponsors Under Armour have introduced the Combine training method which is a high level testing experience popular with American athletes. Under Armour is a leading developer, marketer, and distributor of branded performance apparel, footwear, and accessories. Find out more at www.underarmour.com


Time: 07:19

Posted at 2:45 pm | 33 comments

Viewing 33 comments

Donovan August 31, 2010 2:28 pm

Glad to hear him giving Nonu props - at times he's pretty criticized, but he rally is playing amazingly right now. No mention of Jaque Fourie at all though???

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FrankyH August 31, 2010 2:32 pm

^ Probably just speaking about personal experience, guys who stand out in his head etc.. No big deal. :)

Nice interview. Seems like a smart guy, very grounded too

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Donovan August 31, 2010 2:34 pm

With you. Still find it interesting though. Also no mention of O'Driscoll, who he plays against pretty often...

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Anonymous August 31, 2010 3:02 pm

O'Driscoll is over rated, that's why.

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ConnachtFan August 31, 2010 3:35 pm

"O'Driscoll is over rated thats why" Get back to your play station Anon before your mammy calls you for dinner. Plonker.

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Blindflanker August 31, 2010 3:44 pm

Ive never really liked Jamie Roberts as a player, yes hes good but you would be good if you are 6ft 3, heavily built and playing against centers usually adveraging 5tf 9-10 and a stone or more lighter.

Just my opinion, dont want to start a flame war

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Leeners93 August 31, 2010 3:51 pm

at above ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

i dont understand your comment at all.you dont like him because he's too big?because its his fault that most opposite players are a couple of stone lighter?grow up.
roberts is a great rugby player,very athletic and smart.

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Anonymous August 31, 2010 3:52 pm

O'Driscoll is overrated now, Roberts being only 23/24 has never played BOD in his prime - which was a good few years back.

Roberts is a great centre, and "yes hes good but you would be good if you are 6ft 3, heavily built and playing against centers usually adveraging 5tf 9-10 and a stone or more lighter" is a pretty dull statement. The "5ft 9- 10" and "a stone or more lighter" centres are still professional rugby players and regardless of their size they should be able to take on Roberts regardless. But he's a hugely powerful bloke, and judging from the names of other centres he gave in this interview you can see only the big physical guys get into him.

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FrankyH August 31, 2010 3:56 pm

He may seem a little one dimensional but he's actually got a pretty good step on him, decent hands, and he more often than not gets over the gain line.

I think we tend young to build players up too much, making it easy for naysayers to take cheap pot shots at them. Give him another 3/4/5 years and he'll be in his prime and will have loads of experience behind him. Plus, he'll be able to stitch up his own wounds.

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BigBucks August 31, 2010 4:14 pm

Dont know how this thread got onto O'Driscoll - He isnt overrated, he got reputation in rubgy for a reason. He isnt the Try scoring machine he once was but him and McCaw are by far the best captains around, he's a well rounded player who can score drop goals, is possibly the best defensive back around currently and will always give 100% commitment, something that is often lost in sports once they enter the professional era.

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Anonymous August 31, 2010 5:41 pm

blow your nose jamie!

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Anonymous August 31, 2010 5:44 pm

O'Driscoll is over rated, that's why.

O'Driscoll is overrated now

No he isn't. When he was young he was very skillful and very fast. He scored tries left, right and centre and looked good doing it. Now, he is slower and however he is much more skillful. He plays a much more subtle game and sets tries up rather than scoring them.

I remember watching the Clermont match last season where O'Driscoll had the ball in the corner with three defenders in front of him and Leinster player on his inside (can't remember who). BOD could have taken a chance (which was slim) and run him self but he dummied and jinked and managed to take all three players in front of him out of the game and somehow got the ball out to the Leinster player who had looped to the outside, guaranteeing the try. This was one of the more obvious of his plays, but he does this all the time. This is O'Driscoll's style of play now. The fact that he can be the best with two different styles of play shows how good the man is.

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Anonymous August 31, 2010 5:48 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LRKFyE_Crk

Here's what I was talking about. Go to 1:05

OK player was on outside but still, BOD takes out 3 players. This is typical O'Driscoll.


-KG

View Video

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Anonymous August 31, 2010 7:13 pm

Interesting comments from Roberts, probably not far off base. At the moment, Nonu is probably the best #12 in the world. And glad he gave props to De Villiers, always a class player. Except when PDV tries to use him on the wing...

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fry August 31, 2010 7:22 pm

Hey, RD, could you elaborate a bit more on what you mean by UnderArmour bringing in combine training?

Is there really a scouting system in rugby like there is in the NFL? And I can't imagine someone like James Haskell taking a Wonderlic test...

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Anonymous August 31, 2010 10:50 pm

Ebbw Vale Rugby Club there good to see it's still getting some use!! Come on back next year lads, Bev, Twin you got the skills to pay the bills!!

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Dr Doom August 31, 2010 11:21 pm

He's a great player, big strong and intimidating, but there's no doubt Nonu is the best number 12 in the world at the moment.

I like De Villiers too, it just seems like whenever the Southern Boys head up north for a spell they come back in shit form.

Just like Luke McAlister... He was easily the best 12 going around in 2007 and since coming back has really struggled to get back that form.

Dear NH, Please stop ruining our players. ;-)

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ValleyHero August 31, 2010 11:49 pm

^^^^^^^

Absolute dickhead!
Had to make that comment fully aware of the arguements it causes on this site. Would you rather comments be disabled and we not converse about rugby at all?

Thats what its coming to, every cunting thread turns into NH v SH

Grow up and give it a rest.

What would Bill Mclaren think?

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Anonymous September 01, 2010 1:44 am

"I like De Villiers too, it just seems like whenever the Southern Boys head up north for a spell they come back in shit form."

JDV came to Munster shit.

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Nerk September 01, 2010 3:15 am

When other world class centres say Nonu is the best in the world you have to wonder what the NZRU are thinking throwing money (which we don't have a lot of) at SBW. We have the world's most destructive 12, along with the up-and-coming most destructive 12 (robbie fruean), and yet we waste time with what is essentially a hyped-up sideshow. I'm sure SBW has something value to contribute and is a decent enough player but that doesn't change the fact that his very presence is a colossal distraction to the ultimate goal.

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Juggernauter September 01, 2010 3:36 am

Cheers to Jamie "you know" Roberts!

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Tommy September 01, 2010 5:08 am

Valleyhero, he's right though.
IT happens alot, good players go to Europe and come back out of fitness and form.
Elsom came back and he didn't have nearly the same impact he used to have before he left.

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Xavier September 01, 2010 12:32 pm

@ tommy:

Don't confuse having a bat patch in form with NH "ruining" players. As it has been said here, JDV arrived to Munster already off form, and never put a great performance while in the NH, while Rocky Elsom arrived at Leinster and was a Monster of a man through and through. He played incredibly well throughout the time he spent in NH and it is fair to say that withouth his leadership of the forwards and presence in the field, Leinster probably wouldn't have won the HC. Elsom can't really be used as an example for that arguement, as he was real class during his NH stint.


I really like Jamie Roberts. He has good hands, a good rugby brain (and obviously a good brain, as he is in med school) and is a huge bloke. As for the people who said "meh, any guy who is a few stones heavier than his competition can make an impact", please check your facts. Do you remember the guys who stood out fot the Lions in the SA tour? Mike Phillips, Heaslip, O'Driscol, aaaaand? oh yeah, Jamie Roberts. He tore through other centers left and right. If B&I Lions had more players like him, it could have been a different story, and we must remember the Lion's opponents. Province, Sharks, Cheetahs, Emerging Boks, Boks... Lots of Big Centers there for him to compete with

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Tommy September 02, 2010 12:25 am

Elsom is a perfect example.
He was excellent before he left.
He went up north and changed his game to suit their style of play, ie slower, more laboured, all about seeking contact.
He used to run into gaps all the time, now he runs into players. His offloading is almost non-existant now, cuz he seems happier to die with the ball in hand more.
Mcalister also, lost most of his dynamism, his passing game is much worse, his reading of the game.
Carlos Spencer, same thing as Mcallister.
Rodney Blake has come back about 20kgs overweight, could never play S14 in his current physical condition, but seemed to do fine in the T14.

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Anonymous September 02, 2010 1:41 am

To me, McCalister really is a mystery. He was badly off form in 2009, but let's not forget that in 2007 he was probably the premier second-five in the world. Anyone else remember how hard he fronted in the ABs world cup loss to France? Easily their best back on that ill-fated day.

Anyway, point is, if McCalister can start regaining his form, which it looks like he has, the ABs will have the following midfield options: Nonu, Smith, Kahui, Ranger, McCalister, Robbie Fruean, SBW. That's an ungodly amount of talent.

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Anonymous September 02, 2010 3:28 am

Yea and don't forget Toeava, he's lethal in the midfield and at fullback.... Its sad some of these boys will have to miss out, but I guess that's what comes from playing for your country.

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Laz September 02, 2010 6:29 am

@ Tommy, interesting that you say that about Elsom - he's a legend with the Leinster fans who think he's the best thing since sliced bread.. or Guinness.

He's been okay in this years Tri Nations I thought, but certainly not the player he's hyped up to be over there.

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Anonymous September 02, 2010 11:39 am

Any truly great player should always return to form or be able to compete at the same level at which they competed (assuming they haven't become limited by injuries or age). If they can't, they aren't truly great. All this NH teams ruining players is bullshit and I'm an SH supporter.

-KG

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Canadian Content September 02, 2010 2:52 pm

A truly great player and renaissance man. Impressive he is studying at all, let alone med school.

As for his class, are you kidding? He was the the Lions player of the tour and regularly gave his opponents nightmares with his impressive crash ball.

Surprised he didn't mention BOD as well, but then again, he was put on the spot and not given alot of team to think about his responses. Mind you BOD is a 13 and most the players he mentioned were 12's, outside of Conrad Smith.

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thedannyclayton September 02, 2010 7:22 pm

Rocky left Oz as a player and returned as Captain of Oz. Hardly a step down is it...

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Tommy September 02, 2010 10:25 pm

He got the captaincy on reputation, and he's still a great player, but not as good as when he left.

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Laz September 03, 2010 6:38 am

With respect, George Smith retired and Stirling Mortlock has been injured/out of form. Rocky got it by default.

He is a very good player, but probably not suited to the captaincy role. His handling of the refs and media is terrible! Nathan Sharpe might be a better option for them right now.

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Anonymous September 03, 2010 1:13 pm

Comes across as a really nice bloke. No mention of BOD the cry baby. LOL.

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