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Roberts wary of England

Wales star Jamie Roberts believes England's painful Millennium Stadium mauling two years ago will contribute towards them being "a very dangerous team" in next month's blockbusting RBS 6 Nations opener.

Roberts was part of a stunning Wales performance as England subsided in record-breaking fashion, beaten 30-3 as their Six Nations title hopes and Grand Slam dream collapsed spectacularly around them.

Roberts could be among 11 of that Wales starting line-up likely to return for more on Friday week in what will also double up as a dress rehearsal for the countries' World Cup pool clash at Twickenham later this year.

And he has no doubt that England will be motivated to the hilt by memories of what happened in 2013 when they return to Cardiff.

"You can't win everything in your career, and those big losses are what motivate you as a player," Roberts said.

"My experience with Cardiff in 2009 (the Blues lost a Heineken Cup semi-final penalty shoot-out against Leicester), that motivates me hugely to go and win the European Cup.

"In 2009, Ireland came to Cardiff and won the Grand Slam, and certainly that drives me as a player.

"You never want to feel those feelings again, and England will be a very dangerous team in two weeks' time because of that.

"It's World Cup year, they are in our pool and all the factors point towards an epic battle. It is one that every player in Wales desperately wants to be part of.

"The game in two weeks' time has all the ingredients to match, if not better, the game in Cardiff two years ago.

"That was a special day - I am sure every Welsh fan will agree - and hopefully we will see a repeat of that."

The worrying news for England is that 64 times-capped midfield powerhouse Roberts appears to be approaching that Six Nations showdown in blistering form.

He left his calling card all over Franklin's Gardens on Saturday in front of watching England coaches Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell, delivering a man-of-the-match display as Racing Metro crushed European Champions Cup opponents Northampton 32-8.

Roberts scored Racing's bonus point try, ensuring they won Pool Five and reached the quarter-finals as top seeds, and he also outplayed Saints centre Luther Burrell, his possible opposite number in 12 days' time.

Midfield is arguably the area likely to spark most selection debate between England boss Stuart Lancaster and his fellow coaches, but Roberts is braced for a demanding contest, whatever centre combination Lancaster eventually settles on.

"Luther plays in a similar mould to myself," Roberts added.

"He is very physical, very direct and he is a dangerous player.

"Whoever England pick - whether they pick him, (Brad) Barritt, (Billy) Twelvetrees, the Bath lads (Kyle Eastmond and Jonathan Joseph) - they have got an embarrassment of riches, really, to pick in midfield.

"It will be a huge match-up whoever they pick."

Roberts' contribution apart, there was more good news for Wales head coach Warren Gatland as Saints wing George North stood head and shoulders above his team-mates, scoring his seventh try of the European campaign and repeatedly testing Racing's defence.

The juggernaut wing was considerably below-par during Wales' autumn Test campaign earlier this season, yet there can be little doubt that when on form, he is arguably Wales' most potent attacking weapon.

"George is a special player," Roberts said.

"He has been the first to admit that in November he was probably off his game a little bit, but the guy is sensational.

"For his age (22), what he has achieved in the game already, he just needs to keep calm and keep working hard on his game.

"He is a very level-headed guy. He could easily be the opposite, but he is not, and it is up to us, the senior guys, to keep pushing him.

"He has achieved a lot in his young years.

"He showed his prowess with the try, and some of his runs, he is like a wrecking ball. I much rather prefer playing with him than against him."

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