Roberts shown door by Rabbitohs, Super League an option

South Sydney speedster James Roberts has been told he has played his last game for the Redfern club.

The 27-year-old signed for the Bunnies ahead of the 2019 season but has spent much of this year on the sidelines.

Roberts injured his right pectoral in round 10 and failed to play another game in 2020, with the centre told he can now leave despite having another year remaining on his contract.

Newcastle Knights and Parramatta Eels are reported to be keeping an eye on the former NSW Blues star, although it appears his options are limited at this stage.

It’s a far cry from two years ago when Roberts was rated as one of the best centres in the NRL, leading to his mega-money deal with the Rabbitohs.

His pace and power earned him a fearsome reputation and the nickname ‘Jimmy the Jet’, coming into his own during a devastating six-year spell playing for Gold Coast and then Brisbane.

Issues away from the game have often threatened to derail Roberts’ career but his class on the pitch has always prevailed, with the Indigenous All Star averaging a try every other NRL game.

However, the emergence of a number of young, talented outside backs at the Bunnies has seen him fall down the pecking order and coach Wayne Bennett is keen to free up some salary cap for 2021.

With options in the NRL sparse, Roberts’ management are open to offers from overseas should any Super League club take a punt on a player with plenty of years remaining and undoubted international quality.

But the preference remains to stay in Australia for the time being, with Roberts still confident of recapturing the form that saw him become an NRL superstar.

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