Jamie Roberts: It's been painful - an elbow injury and a kick in the teeth from the Wallabies

Regardless of the injuries, it was a hugely disappointing autumn

I was back in hospital yesterday, but unfortunately it was not just to study for my medical finals. Another week, another injury, that's what it has seemed like over the last month or so. This time I am out for six weeks – the aim is to be back in a Blues shirt by mid-January in time for the end of the Heineken Cup group games and then be ready for the Six Nations.

It happened after 55 minutes against Australia last weekend. We chipped the ball over the top, I went for it and caught my elbow. It got trapped the wrong way. The physio strapped it up and I finished the game, but I have torn ligaments on the inside of the elbow. It means a couple of weeks in a brace then rehab.

So I will be sitting out the Blues' Heineken Cup double-header against Montpellier – it is such a great competition and these back-to-back home and away games in rounds three and four add that extra bit of spice. First, they are in Cardiff tomorrow and we simply have to win. We let it slip against Sale and lost to Toulon, so have to win our remaining games. Montpellier are a big team with a big pack and big ball-carriers. We need to match them up front and win the physical contest.

All in all it's been a pretty physical month for me. First the freak KO against Argentina, that knock on my hip bone against New Zealand and then the elbow against Australia. But you can't dwell on it. Injury is part and parcel of playing rugby – always has been and certainly always will be.

With a lot of Wales players injured there will be questions asked about whether too many demands are made on players through international and club rugby. But that's too easy a conclusion to come to. There have been times when we have had a completely fit and healthy squad to pick from – look at the last World Cup. We were as fortunate then as we have been unfortunate this autumn. That's why you need to have depth in your squad, whether at international or regional level.

It's ruthless being a professional rugby player, but it is part and parcel of what we have signed up for. If you are out for a couple of months, well, so be it. It gives me the chance to have a full MOT – and time off the pitch also helps reinvigorate your hunger.

Regardless of the injuries, it was a hugely disappointing autumn. Losing four international games is not good enough. We have to use it as motivation, a kick up the backside that will carry us into the Six Nations. We are not at the level we need to be to win Test matches at the moment and that is the responsibility of each man in the squad to sort out. We have to go back to our clubs and get to that level – whether it be improving conditioning or mentally – to be able to win that opening game against Ireland.

There are improvements to make in all areas. In the first couple of games we failed to impose ourselves on Argentina and Samoa. We lost the battle of the gainline in attack and defence, and if you do that you will not win games, certainly when everything is magnified at international level. We did it better in the second half against New Zealand and last Saturday. The Australia game was a great Test match, tight and tough from start to finish. Their last-minute score was hard to take. Those fine lines make the difference and it hurts to be on the wrong side of them.

We played some good rugby against Australia. But we are there to win games; good performances and defeat count for nothing in the grand scheme of things. It's what is on the scoreboard that matters.

It is about winning and England did it fantastically against the All Blacks. They played the perfect game of rugby against those opponents, spot on in defence and willing to have a go in attack. It is a great result for English rugby and a lead to follow for the other home nations.

The World Cup draw is a tough one. Come the finals, Australia will be an even more formidable unit than they are now, but for the Welsh it is the other game that obviously catches the eye. For us the chance to play the hosts and next-door neighbours in a World Cup is pretty special. What an incentive: Wales against England at Twickenham in a World Cup – it doesn't get much bigger than that for a Welsh rugby player.

Most players would always want to be at home but I actually love playing away. It's that ultimate challenge of going into someone else's den and feeling the crowd on your back. I thrive on it. It's a great buzz, that gladiatorial feeling when you run out at Twickenham, Murrayfield or the Aviva Stadium. It's what this game is all about.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleComedian launches stinging attack on PM
Life and Style
The collection displayed Versace’s softer side, with models wearing flowers and chiffon dresses in unusual colourings
fashionVersace haute couture review
News
Andy Murray shakes hands after defeating Andreas Seppi of Italy in the third round of Wimbledon, Saturday 4 July, 2015
Wimbledon
Arts and Entertainment
'The Leaf'
artYes, it's a leaf, but a potentially very expensive one
News
Yoko Ono at the Royal Festival Hall for Double Fantasy Live
people'I wont let him destroy memory of John Lennon or The Beatles'
News
Could Greece leave the EU?
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'