Stormers centre Jamie Roberts believes his international career is over and says he does not expect to make it into a Wales squad again.
Roberts is 97-cap Test veteran with 94 appearances for Wales and three for the British & Irish Lions. But although adamant he is still available for national selection, the 33-year-old does not think he’ll be picked again.
‘Most definitely not, I doubt it. I was in favour for a long time and then suddenly you’re out of favour, that’s the way sport is,’ Roberts told BBC Sport Wales’ Scrum V podcast.
‘But it’s important to look back and be very grateful for what we did manage to achieve, rather than I’m a few short of 100.
‘It does motivate you, and it still does. I still feel I’m playing good rugby, I’d love to wear the red jersey again, but you just come to appreciate that selection is an uncontrollable.
‘You play as well as you can; there are some great, great players who play brilliantly who just haven’t been picked for Wales and I’ve been very lucky in my career to have done it 94 times.’
Roberts, who is a qualified doctor and volunteering with the NHS during the coronavirus crisis, made his debut against Scotland in the 2008 Six Nations, when he was selected on the wing. He last played for Wales in November 2017 against New Zealand.
‘It was very difficult. You’re in the side for nine years, 10 years and then – bang – you’re not. It’s tough, I’d been involved in every Test campaign from when I was 21 to 31,’ Roberts explained.
‘It’s hard being told, “Right, we’re going with someone else”, especially 18 months out from a World Cup because that was a goal, to play in a third World Cup. I see it in a different light now but when you’re in that, as any player will tell you, it’s really frustrating and tough to take.
‘I’m a realist as well, watching that  Grand Slam in Cardiff was amazing – I was doing commentary that day – and the World Cup as well.
‘It’s not so much closure – that’s probably the wrong word as I still have Test ambitions – but it was kind of, well that’s that World Cup cycle and I’m not involved in that, so c’est la vie.
‘I’m a bit of a rugby romantic and traditionalist; I think the thought of my career coming full circle is an attractive one. We’ll see, we’ll see,’ he added.
Photo: Getty Images