Jenkins issues reminder to Roberts

PA Sport
Jamie Roberts leaves Cardiff Blues at the end of the season with his destination yet to be announced
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Jamie Roberts leaves Cardiff Blues at the end of the season with his destination yet to be announced

Jamie Roberts has been reminded of the need to secure release for key Wales training camps as he contemplates a lucrative new club career in France.

Wales centre Roberts will join his international colleagues Mike Phillips, James Hook, Gethin Jenkins and Luke Charteris across the English Channel next season after rejecting a new deal from Cardiff Blues. The current France-based quartet missed Wales' critical pre-autumn training camp in Poland last week due to club commitments.

Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins said: "Jamie has made a decision that he won't be with the Blues. The most important thing from our point of view is that whenever he does go, he gets full release and he can come to these pre-autumn and pre-Six Nations training camps."

He added: "If that is the case, Jamie will be a full part of this Wales squad going forward. He is an outstanding player. He has been outstanding for Wales and the British and Irish Lions. He leads from the front.

"I am sure Jamie wants to be a big part of this Wales set-up going forward."

While Toulon prop Jenkins still starts against Millennium Stadium visitors Argentina on Saturday, Phillips and Hook are on the bench and Charteris plays for Perpignan this weekend after a deal was struck between his club and Welsh Rugby Union that would see him freed in return to face Australia on December 1.

"It is obviously a difficult scenario for us," Jenkins said. "We want our best players playing in Wales as often as possible."

Although Roberts' destination next term has yet to be announced, Press Association Sport understands it will be wealthy Parisians Racing Metro, whose most recent signing was former Bath and England back Olly Barkley.

Speaking two days ago, 26-year-old Roberts underlined the huge importance to him of playing for Wales, which suggests securing the required contractual clauses will be high on his agenda.

"Missing the last three (Wales) games has made it that more important to me," said Roberts, who has now fully recovered from a serious knee injury and returns to the Test arena this weekend. "It's true - you don't know what you have got until it has gone. When you miss games you are chomping at the bit to get back in the team."

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