Former NRL star Timana Tahu says he’s confident Wests Tigers recruit James Roberts can make his return to the Origin arena.
Tahu, who recently joined Michael Maguire’s coaching staff, will play an important role with the club moving forward as he gets set to work with the outside backs.
The likes of Roberts, two-time Dally M Centre of the Year Joey Leilua and young gun Tommy Talau will all be under Tahu’s watch.
For the club to have any chance of featuring in their first finals campaign since 2011, a lot will hinge on Roberts who recently joined the Tigers on a two-year deal.
The move was somewhat of an NRL lifeline for the 27-year-old who was released by the Rabbitohs after battling through a spate of injuries and off-field issues, a little over a year after he was released by the Broncos under similar circumstances.
Roberts last played for the Blues in 2018 when he featured in all three games of the winning series for New South Wales. The centre has also failed to notch more than 10 tries per-season since crossing over 18 times for the Broncos back in 2017.
Despite what’s been a rollercoaster of a ride over the past few seasons for Roberts, Tahu made it known he expects the Indigenous star to get back to the top level of Origin football.
“You look at Jimmy, he was the NSW centre just [two years ago],” Tahu told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“That’s where I expect him and BJ (Joey Leilua) to be as well. They just need to believe in it.
“One of the reasons I’m there is to give them that belief. They are natural strike weapons. There’s not too much to teach on the field.
“I feel they should be the NSW centres, for sure.”