Former NSW State of Origin star James Roberts has made a bright start with new club Wests Tigers and is embracing his standing as a senior player.
Roberts signed a one-year deal with the Tigers after splitting with South Sydney for the second time after last season. Wests Tigers are his fifth club by age 27.
Having fought well-documented personal battles, Roberts personally phoned Tigers coach Michael Maguire – his former boss at Souths – to get an opportunity. He joined the squad in full-time training last week, having completed three weeks in a part-time capacity.
“It feels good just to be back,” Roberts told The Sunday Telegraph.
“I think this is one of the most excited I’ve been about playing footy. I’m really looking forward to the season and really happy with where I’m at.”
Roberts has experienced plenty in his career, playing 149 NRL games and representing the Blues, but also copping devastating lows. He is excited about playing a veteran’s role within the young Tigers squad.
“There’s a really good group here and I think we’ll do something special,” he told the Telegraph.
“I’ve been trying to chime in and help some of the younger boys where I can; I’m sort of one of the older boys now, which is a different feeling for me but it’s something I’m enjoying.
“It’s good for me to try and lead the way with my actions and help them with that.”
Wests Tigers finished a disappointing 11th last season, with just seven wins.