Tigers hold talks with troubled NRL star

Pamela Whaley
·2-min read

Wests Tigers have held talks with troubled NRL star James Roberts after missing out on the signature of Melbourne winger Josh Addo-Carr.

Roberts was spotted in a meeting with Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe and head of football Adam Hartigan at a Sydney cafe on Thursday.

After being released earlier this month from the final year of his contract with South Sydney on compassionate grounds, the former NSW star is without an NRL club for next season.

The 27-year-old has not played since round 10, when he suffered a right pectoral injury.

Earlier in the year he was admitted into a mental health facility to deal with anxiety and depression exacerbated by the NRL's lockdown in response to the coronavirus.

A deal with the Tigers could resurrect Roberts's NRL career, but the club are understood to have little appetite for offering big money for a stop-gap solution.

After years of dealing with salary-cap mess, the Tigers will have more freedom to spend in 2022 and will not rush to sign anyone for next season unless they are considered the right fit for the future.

Roberts was set to earn $550,000 with the Rabbitohs next season before walking away.

However, his asking price is likely to be well below that figure, with few clubs so far showing interest in 'The Jet'.

The meeting with Tigers shows the club has an open mind, however, and they are keen to add depth to their backline.

Following Addo-Carr's decision to remain at Melbourne in 2021, the Tigers will ramp up talks with Penrith star Josh Mansour and are also believed to have interest in his teammate at the Panthers, Daine Laurie.

Mansour has been told by Penrith he is likely to be playing reserve grade if he remains with the grand finalists next season, and is free to seek a deal at another club.