Home advantage could prove decisive for Wales’ hopes in the 2019 Guinness Six Nations, according to Jamie Roberts on ITV Rugby’s special Flats and Shanks podcast.
ITV has teamed up once again with rugby chatterboxes David Flatman and Tom Shanklin for a special Championship podcast, which is available on Android and iOS.
There will be eight episodes featuring the popular duo during the Guinness Six Nations, with each one featuring a special guest to discuss all things around the Championship.
And Welsh international Roberts, who joined the pair for the first episode previewing an action-packed opening weekend, believes Warren Gatland’s men are contenders for the title.
“I think the key thing for Wales this year is that they have England and Ireland at home, who are probably the biggest, strongest teams in the Championship traditionally,” said the 32-year-old centre.
“The challenge for the Welsh side is to keep winning because there will be a target on their back, no doubt about that, and France away first up will be tough.
“You have to really front up physically as they are big lads, but Wales have a good shot. This Championship, if you can win your first couple of games, the momentum builds, confidence builds.
“Wales play Italy second away, which you’d back them to win, and if they can go off the back of two victories into the games with England and Ireland they will have a lot of confidence.”
The opening episode also sees the trio discuss Ireland’s opening game with England, with Flatman admitting it is hard to see past the reigning Grand Slam champions winning the title again.
“They just look so well prepared by Joe Schmidt, they look physically in great nick every time we’ve seen them play over the last couple of years,” he said.
“He’s a genuine threat in the wide channels, he is a genuine threat with ball in hand, he’s not just good for a prop, he’s a really good rugby player.
“Then you’ve got James Ryan, Tadhg Beirne – who is not fit for the first round – Iain Henderson, who is a freakish player, it just goes on and on – you think, ‘How do England beat that?’”