Northampton Saints - Roberts ready for decisive tie

Martin Roberts says the banter with his former Scarlets team-mates has not been “too bad” in the build up to Sunday’s LV= Cup semi-final.

The scrum-half comes up against his former team for the third time this season and it stands at 1-1 with the decider at Franklin’s Gardens also deciding who reaches the cup final.

After spending three seasons and making 79 appearances at the Llanelli club, Roberts moved to England in the summer.

The 25-year-old enjoyed beating his old club at Parc y Scarlets in the Heineken Cup, especially as he started that game, but he came on for the final 15 minutes when Scarlets won at the Gardens.

Roberts will be coming up against plenty of familiar faces, though the texts have not been too tasty just yet.

Roberts, who has won three Wales caps, said: “It is been pretty subtle so far to be honest, it has not been too bad.

“We know it is a big game, it is one apiece and it is winner takes all.

“It is going to be a big game, and it is a chance to win silverware. We are approaching it like any other game, but knowing there is a bit of a carrot at the end of it.”

Due to the Six Nations the teams will look a bit different on Sunday, with Scarlets missing eight and Saints having five on international duty, while Courtney Lawes is injured.

Roberts will be able to give Saints plenty of inside information on the new faces in a Scarlets backline missing George North, Rhys Priestland, Jonathan Davies and Scott Williams, though he says his old team’s tactics won’t change.

“We have done our analysis over the last two games, we have got the video of both games we played against them, but things have changed since then.

“They have a lot of changes especially in the backs with a lot of them being on Wales duty. It is an opportunity for them to shine and put in a good performance.”

With Priestland away Scarlets have another world-class fly-half to call upon with Stephen Jones set to step in. Roberts has played alongside Jones many times and he feels his experience will be key for Scarlets on Sunday.

“Stephen Jones’ experience speaks for itself. He has won 100 caps for Wales, been on several British Lions tours and he brings that stability to the team and that experience.

“He is still a great player and will try to really guide the young troops around him.

“But it is not about stopping one certain player you go out to nullify the whole team.”

Last week it wasn’t a free-flowing game, weather permitting hopefulyy it will be nice, they like to play an open brand of running rugby, and so do we, I am sure it will be a free-flowing game and planty of tries.