Rugby - Roberts will cherish Lions success

Jamie Roberts will savour the British and Irish Lions' victory in Australia for the rest of his life and believes the success can spur Wales on to World Cup glory.

PA Sport
Rugby - Roberts will cherish Lions success
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Jamie Roberts is targeting World Cup glory with Wales

The Lions ended a tough 16-year wait for a series win on Saturday, resoundingly beating Australia 41-16 in the decider at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney. More than a hundred fans welcomed home the triumphant Lions at Heathrow Airport this morning, with captain Sam Warburton emerging with the trophy on top of his baggage trolley. Roberts was not far behind and the centre returns to Wales a proud man.

"To see how many people have turned up to support us, it is pretty special," the 26-year-old said.

"It will probably take a few weeks for it to sink in for what we have achieved in Australia. For all 80 people on that tour, it is something to savour for the rest of our days. We made history.

"Ultimately, not many Lions tours are victorious, especially over the last 50 or 60 years. We are very proud of that and hopefully the boys can enjoy a good off-season now over the summer and just really reminisce for what we have achieved."

It was a particularly sweet result for Roberts, thrust into the starting line-up for the final Test after missing three weeks with a hamstring injury.

"At one point of the tour I thought I was going home with my hamstring, certainly when I did it," Roberts, a qualified doctor, said. "I was very nervous about what the scan would show. I pretty much accepted I was probably going home. It was quite a nasty hamstring tear so I owe my appearance in the third test to the medical team on tour."

Roberts will now enjoy some time off, before moving to Paris-based Racing Metro with Wales and Lions team-mate Dan Lydiate. They were two of 11 Welshmen to play in Saturday's 41-16 clincher, including man of the series Leigh Halfpenny. Such strength makes Roberts confident that Warren Gatland's team can win their first ever World Cup in two years.

"Obviously I am moving to a new club, but the next goal now is to move into the autumn and really challenge the southern hemisphere teams as an international side with Wales," he said.

"We really move forward now in the next couple of years towards the World Cup. Having seen how the Welsh guys have performed on this tour, it is hugely promising looking forward to 2015. We want to win the World Cup."

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