The 29-year-old former Canterbury Bulldogs and Parramatta Eels pivot has joined Tigers from Melbourne Storm on a two-year deal, after making more than 150 appearances in Australia’s elite NRL.
“Playing in Super League is something I have always wanted to do, when the time was right, ” revealed Roberts, who has played Test rugby for New Zealand and Samoa. “That time is now in my career, so here I am.”
He explained: “I wanted to make sure I still had a bit in me to give to the game. I didn’t want to come over here towards the back end of my career, when I thought I would probably only go another year or two. The way I am feeling right now, I could probably go another three or four years easily.”
Roberts enjoyed an impressive campaign for Samoa in last year’s Four Nations. Samoa gave England a fright and were minutes away from beating New Zealand, before running out of steam against Australia.
“It went really well,” recalled Roberts. “Obviously we didn’t get a win, but we weren’t far off. It was a good experience for myself and also the boys that played in that team. It is looking bright for Samoan rugby league.”
Tigers’ opening Super League fixture will pitch Roberts against another Samoan success story, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ Pita Godinet.
Another of Tigers’ recruits, Junior Moors, played alongside Roberts at Melbourne and the half-back said having familiar faces around him has made it easier to settle in.
Roberts could come into contention for Andy Lynch’s testimonial game against Bradford Bulls at the Jungle in six days’ time and said: “I am looking forward to my first game.”