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Roberts calls for confident Wales

Jamie Roberts wants Wales to "walk the walk" in this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship when they will bid for an historic title hat-trick.

Wales have lost just two of their last 14 Six Nations games, winning the competition two years in succession, and they will head into Saturday's Millennium Stadium opener against Italy as the bookmakers' tournament favourites.

"We have to go out in our first game and express ourselves like champions," said Racing Metro centre Roberts, who returns to Test action after missing this season's entire autumn series through injury.

"Warren (Wales coach Warren Gatland) has spoken about having a little bit of a strut in our stride and really being quite confident.

"We need to be honest and humble as well, but we have to go out and express ourselves.

"We can't go into our shells on the pitch, we have to go out and walk the walk because ultimately that has served us well over the last few years.

"We are a well-oiled machine, especially after the last two campaigns, and we know if we get all our big players fit and firing we are a very dangerous outfit.

"It's important we go out and play with confidence and believe that we are champions, which we are.

"We need to go out and express ourselves, whether that is running from behind our try-line when it's on to go. It's important we do that and embrace situations on the field and go on and express ourselves as players.

"Every team wants to beat us, and we would be the same in their position.

"We know we are the team to beat and we have to adapt accordingly. That takes a lot of resilience, a lot of thinking and planning before games. It's important we do our homework and no stone left unturned going into Italy. We have worked very hard in the last couple of weeks."

Roberts' powerful midfield presence has served Wales well throughout a Test career that has seen him collect more than 50 caps.

He will partner in-form Scarlets centre Scott Williams this weekend, with Roberts' 2013 British and Irish Lions colleague Jonathan Davies now close to full fitness following a chest muscle injury that ended his autumn campaign this season after just 12 minutes of the opening fixture against South Africa.

That midfield quality offers a snapshot of Wales' squad strength, while Roberts warmed up for the Six Nations campaign by helping Racing brush aside four-time European champions Toulouse last weekend.

"It was nice to be able to play in a big game leading into the Six Nations," he said.

"Being able to play in the Stade de France in front of 40,000 people and beat Toulouse quite convincingly was nice.

"I'm loving it (playing in France), but I will be honest, the first months are very hard. You kind of have to prepare yourself mentally for it to be tough.

"Having spoken to a lot of people before I went over (to Paris) they had said it was going to be very hard for the first four or five months.

"When you are settling in it gets quite lonely at times. You have to have the mental strength to see through that and come through the other side.

"Just having to completely fend for yourself in another language, moving into a new apartment, buying all your furniture through the medium of French is tough because the language side of my brain isn't the best.

"I am struggling a bit on that front, but I am learning off Mike Phillips (Racing and Wales team-mate), which is interesting.

"The French league is interesting. One week you can play in a match and it feels like you are playing sevens rugby and you are catching your breath after 10 minutes.

"And the next week you can play in a match, it's hammering down with rain, it's one-pass rugby and it's ugly rugby."

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