He has his critics on any given day but for the most part, Ben Roberts has enjoyed a decent stint with the Melbourne Storm in 2014 but that will soon come to an end, after he signed with the Castleford Tigers.
Signing with the Tigers on a 2-year deal from next season, Roberts is both a New Zealand and Samoan international and after previous stints with the Parramatta Eels and the Canterbury Bulldogs, a new challenge awaits Roberts.
With 130 NRL games to his name so far, Roberts admits that he is looking forward to the switch to Super League.
“I only signed at the Storm for one year and we were not quite sure what I was going to do after this year, in terms of hanging around or possibly going overseas,” said Roberts.
“I suggested to my manager that we should have a fish out and about, just to see what was out there.
“It just so happened that Castleford came in the picture, so I was trying to find out a bit of information about the club. I heard nothing but good things about the club and they came from people who had played there in the past.”
Daryl Powell, currently coach of the Tigers, was a big factor in the deal, after he convinced Roberts enough about the club and their direction to get him to sign.
“I had a quick talk with him the other day in regards to his view and opinion on the club and how it would suit me to playing under him,” Roberts said.
“Again, culture is a big factor – when you have a club with great people there, it makes your job as a footballer a lot easier.
“I listened to his plans going forward and the way he talks played a big part in that. I would like to be a part of what Daryl has planned for the future, so I am pretty excited about it all.”
Turning 29 on Tuesday, Roberts said it was quite literally the “perfect time” for the move to eventuate with family playing a huge role in his decision.
“It has always been there, and I have always considered it an option,” he said on the move to the UK.
“It has never really come around in my rugby league career but right now, I think it is the perfect time for me to come. I have a young family and I think doing it on my own would have been pretty tough.
“The fact that I am now married with a little one will mean it is a good experience for all three of us. The wife has never been to England before and she is pretty excited as well, so I suppose if she is happy, it makes my job a lot easier as well!”
Impressed with the way the club was run and the direction they have been heading in, the decision was made easier after Roberts spoke with former Bulldogs teammate, Brent Sherwin.
“I have watched a few games; I would not say I have watched a lot but I have caught one or two,” stated Roberts.
“My good friend Brent Sherwin played there a couple of years ago and I spoke with him in regards to what his thoughts were and what his experience was like at the club and to be honest, he had nothing but good things to say.
That was very similar to what other people said, specifically about the club having a great culture and having good people working behind the scenes to get things going.”