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Wales centre Jamie Roberts hopes to be passed fit for third Test

Published 21/06/2016

Jamie Roberts will be assessed before the game in Dunedin
Jamie Roberts will be assessed before the game in Dunedin

Wales centre Jamie Roberts is hoping he will complete his return-to-play protocols in time to line-up against New Zealand in Saturday's third Test in Dunedin.

The Harlequins star was hurt in a clash of heads with opposite number Malakai Fekitoa 30 seconds into the second Test defeat in Wellington on Saturday.

Both players were cut, but Roberts managed to play on to the 78th minute while Fekitoa was replaced at the start of the second half.

Roberts, who could earn his 83rd Welsh cap at the weekend, said: "I had a few stitches. It was a nasty knock but I'm feeling alright. My head has taken quite a few knocks over the past decade.

"I got to know Fekitoa quite well 30 seconds into the game and the rest of the game is a bit of a blur. I remember having a clash of heads with Ireland lock Donncha O'Callaghan in Wellington in the World Cup quarter-final in 2011. My head is a weird shape now.

"There is a protocol to follow after a head knock and I am doing that this week. Fingers crossed I will be alright for selection."

Roberts believes the Wales squad could take inspiration from the country's football team, who beat Russia at Euro 2016 on Monday to qualify from the group stage.

The 29-year-old added: "From all the Welsh rugby lads, huge congratulations to Wales for making the knockout stages. Most of the boys watched it in the team room this morning and we're happy with the 3-0 win.

"It's nice to top the group after England drew 0-0. The football lads have inspired a nation and it's fantastic for the country.

"All the lads are pretty stoked - it also gives us inspiration. The European Championship is massive for those boys and I've seen some clips of the celebrations back home. It reminds us of the 2015 and 2011 Rugby World Cups."

Wales are due to announce their team for the final test on Thursday morning in Wellington. Head coach Warren Gatland is not expected to make many, if any, changes, while opposite number Steve Hansen is set to resist the temptation of giving some of the All Blacks' second-string players a run after taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

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