James Roberts joins Rabbitohs immediately after Broncos release

BY SCOTT DILLON

Representative centre James Roberts has been granted an immediate release from his deal at the Brisbane Broncos to return to Redfern and the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

This time last year Roberts was preparing for State of Origin I with the NSW Blues but a troubled start to the year at Red Hill and ongoing strains between himself and Broncos coach Anthony Seibold saw him dropped to reserve grade.

Rumours had been circling Roberts would head back to the Rabbitohs with it confirmed on Wednesday by both clubs.

“Roberts has been granted a release from the remainder of his playing contract at the Brisbane Broncos and has signed an agreement to join the Rabbitohs immediately for the next two-and-a-half seasons,” Souths said in a statement.

Souths GM Shane Richardson said Roberts would excel under experienced coach Wayne Bennett.

“James is a South Sydney junior who knows what it means to represent the Rabbitohs. He understands the standards set by ‘The Rabbitoh Way’”.

“Make no bones about it, James is an immense talent, a player capable of representing his State and Country under the right guidance, and we feel that James can return to his best football under Wayne (Head Coach Wayne Bennett) and the senior players we have here at this Club.”

Brisbane CEO Paul White said Roberts had requested a release to return back to Sydney with his young family.

“While we are disappointed to lose James, we understand his position – it wasn’t in the best interests of the Club to stand in the way of a player who has expressed a honest and strong desire to return home.”

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