Jamie Roberts must have a release clause for Wales - Neil Jenkins

Neil Jenkins

Autumn internationals: WALES v ARGENTINA

Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Saturday, 10 November
14:30 GMT
Live on BBC One & online; live commentary on BBC Radio Wales & online; live commentary on Radio Cymru

Neil Jenkins insists Jamie Roberts will need a clause in his contract which frees him for Wales training camps if he joins a French club next season.

Cardiff Blues announced on Thursday that the 25-year-old Lions centre was leaving at the end of the season.

Wales skills coach Jenkins says it is key Roberts can play a full part in international training camps.

"It's vitally important for us and the team and for Jamie himself," said Jenkins.

The news Roberts was leaving the Blues and likely to move to France came two days after Wales interim coach Rob Howley admitted scrum-half Mike Phillips had missed out on selection for Saturday's match with Argentina because he was not being released by Bayonne for the match against Australia in December.

National coach Warren Gatland has also expressed his concern about the number of top Welsh players moving to France, and the effect it has on Wales squad preparations.

Phillips and other France-based players Luke Charteris, James Hook and Gethin Jenkins all missed Wales' training camp in Poland.

Jenkins hopes Roberts can avoid the same thing happening to him once he makes his move outside Wales.

"It's obviously a difficult scenario because we want our best players playing in Wales as often as we can," said Jenkins.

"It's important from our point of view that, wherever he does go, he gets fully released.

"The most important thing for us is he can come to these pre-autumn training camps, and the same thing in the Six Nations as well, and if that's the case Jamie will be a full part of this Welsh squad going forward.

"That's a big part of Jamie being involved with us and trying to get that release and trying to get that sorted in his contract wherever he goes."

Saturday's match against Argentina will be Roberts' first appearance for Wales since the Six Nations after he missed the summer tour of Australia because of injury.

Jenkins admits his absence was a handicap as Wales slipped to a 3-0 series defeat by the Wallabies.

"He's an outstanding player," said Jenkins.

"He was outstanding for the Lions four years ago and he was outstanding for Wales in the World Cup and the Grand Slam season.

"We probably missed him a bit in the summer in Australia. It's great to have him back."

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