Martin Roberts has made an instant impact with the Scarlets this season.
Scarlets scrum-half Martin Roberts is determined to keep his feet on the ground after his shock inclusion in the Wales autumn squad announced earlier this week.
The 22-year-old received a text early on Tuesday morning to be named as one of five uncapped players in the 32-man squad selected by Warren Gatland. After recovering from the initial shock of his selection, the former Neath scrum-half is now looking forward to working with former Wales and British Lions star Robert Howley.
"To be given the opportunity to work with someone of Rob Howley's calibre is a really exciting prospect," he said. "I'm still trying to keep my feet on the ground to be honest but I just want to pick up as much knowledge and experience as I can during the autumn internationals. Working with someone like Rob can only help my game."
Roberts moved to Stradey Park in the summer after he found games hard to come by with the Ospreys but his quick passing game has made an immediate impression on Scarlets head coach Nigel Davies.
"I'm delighted for Martin - he's been playing really, really well for us. He has come in and shown his worth. He plays a type of game which suits our style. He is still developing but he's definitely heading in the right direction," explained Davies.
Roberts has been capped at Schools, Under 16, Under 19 and Under 21 level and has no regrets about crossing the Loughor Bridge to play for the Scarlets.
"I wasn't getting much opportunity at the Ospreys and if I had not made the move I wouldn't be in this position now. I have had chances to start at the Scarlets this season, and I've got to thank Nigel (Davies) for that. Hopefully I have taken those and I suppose the Welsh management must have seen something in my performances to pick me."
Howley has been keeping a watchful eye on Roberts since Wales returned from their summer tour in South Africa.
"The management sat down after the South African tour as we didn't want to be in a position whereby if Dwayne Peel and Mike Phillips were injured again, where would we be for scrum halves?" said Howley.
Each of the regions provided their up and coming No9s for several clinics and Howley was suitably impressed with the Neath College product.
"Martin has been top of the tree which was a good indicator," he said. "He's played in the Heineken Cup for the Scarlets and acquitted himself well. Now he's got a chance to go up to the next level."
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.