Wales can 'look after' Jamie Roberts says Tom Shanklin

Jamie Roberts has played 26 times for Racing Metro since joining in 2013
Jamie Roberts has played 26 times for Racing Metro since joining in 2013
Six Nations 2015: France v Wales
Venue: Stade de France Date: 28 February, 2015 Kick-off: 17:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, HD, Red Button, S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra, online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV.

A move back to Wales "would be great" for centre Jamie Roberts according to his former international and regional midfield partner Tom Shanklin.

Racing Metro's Roberts is reported to be leaving the French club, opening the prospect of a dual contract in Wales.

Shanklin who played with Roberts for Wales and Cardiff Blues believes such a deal would benefit his former team-mate.

"I think he'll get looked after far better in Wales," he said.

Shanklin told BBC Radio Wales Sport: "If he gets a dual contract the Welsh Rugby Union will be able to control the number of games that he plays.

"He's not a nine or 10, he's not one that evades tackles. He makes loads of tackles, big tackles as well and he has to carry the ball into walls.

"So I think if you get him back in Wales you can look after him far better.

"I'd like to see him back for sure. I think it would be a great move."

If Roberts was to return to Wales on a national dual contract, then his former region Cardiff Blues would have first refusal.

Roberts' Racing team-mate Dan Lydiate returned to Wales - with Ospreys - this season, and the duo are expected to be named in coach Warren Gatland's team to face France in Paris in the Six Nations on Saturday.

Newport Gwent Dragons had first refusal over Lydiate's services after he had left them to join Racing, but the player negotiated a deal with the Ospreys after failing to agree terms with the region.

Shanklin believes there is only one Welsh region 2013 British and Irish Lion Roberts would consider.

"I think there would be only one of the regions that he'd probably go back to," said Shanklin.

"It would be great. The [Cardiff] Blues region are desperate for quality.

"But it's speculation at the moment. This is the last thing he'll be thinking about right now really."

If Roberts is selected as expected to line up in the Welsh midfield for the clash in France, then he could line up against Toulon centre Mathieu Bastareaud.

"That's going to be a massive battle," said Shanklin.

"He's [Bastareaud] probably one of the only players in world rugby that can match Jamie for strength and size."

Top Stories