Jamie Roberts targets Six Nations return
WALES centre Jamie Roberts will miss all of his side’s four-match autumn series through injury but hopes to return in time for the Six Nations.
The 2008 and 2012 Grand Slam winner hurt his ankle in Racing Métro’s 19-16 victory over Perpignan in the Top 14 clash in Paris last month.
The 26-year-old was not named in Warren Gatland's 35-man Wales squad for the autumn Test series on Tuesday, but it was hoped he might return for the last clash with Australia on Saturday, November 30 after showdowns with South Africa, Argentina and Tonga.
"That (the Six Nations) has to be my goal now," said Roberts, who scored the British and Irish Lions’ final try in their series winning 41-16 third Test victory over Australia in July.
“Missing out on selection means it will be hard to watch but ultimately...it will drive me to be a better player.”
"If those guys do well in the autumn, that will drive me to train harder to get selected for the Six Nations squad."
Gatland has named six centres in his squad for next month’s contests in Scarlets pair Jonathan Davies and Scott Williams, Cardiff Blues duo Cory Allen and Owen Williams (Cardiff Blues), Ashley Beck from the Ospreys and Perpignan star James Hook, who can also play outside half and full back.
Williams is the current favourite to replace Roberts in the Wales midfield, after superb try-scoring performances in his region’s Heineken Cup away win over Harlequins and a draw at home against Dan Lydiate’s Racing Métro, to partner Scarlets teammate Davies.
Roberts believes whoever comes in for him will be able to do a fine job as he misses out with Wales for the first time since a wrist injury ruled him out of the autumn series in 2010.
"I am injured and I will miss out and that is professional sport," said Roberts.
"They have picked five centres and I am very confident those guys can do a sterling job "As of Friday, I will be six weeks post operation and I am probably another four or five weeks away from playing.
"I am likely to be fit by the end of November, the doctors tell me.
"I just have to keep working hard, keep rehabbing well and keep being really diligent with my rehab.”
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