James Roberts arrest casts doubts over future

On a day where the Gold Coast Titans should be celebrating a prize recruit the club has been thrown into damage control after James Roberts was arrested last weekend.

Roberts, 21, was arrested in Surfers Paradise and charged with committing a public nuisance and obstructing a police officer.  In a statement the club said, “The NRL integrity unit was notified immediately the club became aware of the charges and we will continue to work through the issue with the NRL.’

The winger joined the Gold Coast Titans after being released by Penrith Panthers back in March as a result of an off-field incident where he smashed a taxi window.  Prior to that, South Sydney sacked him in 2012 for trashing a late night venue.

There is no doubt James Roberts has good pedigree as he’s the nephew of another decorated winger, Amos Roberts.  Amos scored 106 tries in 177 matches for the St George-Illawarra, Penrith and Sydney Roosters between 2000 and 2008.  James record to date is sixteen tries in twenty-eight appearances for South Sydney, Penrith and Gold Coast.

The lifeline handed out by the Gold Coast Titans might work against Roberts in trying to resurrect his career.  Living in the glamour strip of south-east Queensland, the temptation to get into trouble is greatly increased.

With his previous history taken into consideration it appears that the Titans have two options.  The first is to keep the faith in young Roberts and put him in heavy rehabilitation during the off-season.  Something that Penrith tried with little difference.  The second is to sack the winger.  This would almost put an end to his career in Australia with clubs more sensitive to bad publicity.

This comes within twenty-four hours of the Titans successfully winning the signature of former Brisbane Bronco Josh Hoffmann on a three year deal.

The five time Kiwi international has been fallen victim to a major clean out happening at Red Hill that has seen Martin Kennedy and Ben Hannant moved on.  Speculation continues in the Queensland media that Ben Barba is next on Wayne Bennett’s list to be released to make way for Darius Boyd.

Hoffmann struggled at five-eighth for the majority of the season before he switched roles with Ben Barba.

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