Joe Roberts has revealed he was on his way to a junior rugby festival at his former club Burry Port when he found out about his surprise Wales call-up.
The Scarlets centre has been rewarded for a breakthrough 2023 by being named in Warren Gatland’s preliminary training squad for the Rugby World Cup, which was unveiled on Monday afternoon.
Speaking on the BBC Scrum V podcast, he said: “The email came when I was on the way to a player appearance for the Burry Port festival, I saw the email but had to be there in five minutes so I had to put the phone down!
“Everyone is delighted, my Dad wouldn’t leave me alone yesterday, he kept lingering about, he was over the moon!”
The 22-year-old from Llanelli came through the Scarlets Academy and has had to overcome two major knee injuries since earning his Wales U20s cap.
He returned to action in the new year and has been a virtual ever present in the side since.
Roberts added: “Obviously, playing for Wales has always been a goal growing up, but for me after two pretty big injuries, it has been about getting regular rugby for Scarlets and taking every game as it comes because you don’t know what’s next.
“I am grateful to the coaches for putting their faith in me – the message from Peely is always the same, he keeps telling me to keep backing myself.”
Roberts was sporting a black eye as a result of a bruising semi-final defeat to Glasgow on the weekend.
“The boys are all gutted,” he added. “But we have had a taste of these big games and as a group we want to be playing in those matches regularly in the future.”