James “Jimmy the Jet’’ Roberts has the biggest asset in rugby league: phenomenal speed. That’s the main reason that after being released by South Sydney at the end of the 2020 NRL season, the 27-year-old has now been picked up by the Wests Tigers.
Since his debut in 2011 for Souths, the speed demon has played for Penrith, Gold Coast and Brisbane, and a second stint at South Sydney.
The Wests Tigers’ media release says Roberts has signed a two-year deal for the 2021 and 2022 NRL seasons – dependent on options in the club’s favour.
“We firmly believe that the NRL is better off having talents like James in the competition and we’re looking forward to working closely with him both on and off the field,’’ says Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe in the media release.
“James understands the responsibility he has to his teammates, the Wests Tigers members and all those associated with the club and is extremely determined to ensure this opportunity directly contributes to the success of Wests Tigers.”
Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire echoed Pascoe’s comments.
“James is clearly an exceptional footballer who will add a lot to our side and I’m very pleased to see him continue his rugby league career with Wests Tigers,” Maguire said.
“I’ve worked closely with James before and know that he has a good team around him to help get back to the player that we know he can be.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him back on the rugby league field in 2021 and displaying the talent and commitment that I know will add a lot to our team moving forward.”
As for Roberts, he said he was excited for the opportunity to reunite with Michael Maguire.
“I’m also really impressed with the work Wests Tigers are doing in creating pathways for Aboriginal people and it’s something I’m really passionate about,’’ he said.