Returning Titan opens up on struggles
TYRONE Roberts has opened up about his short stint in the English Super League, and why he had to cut his contract short to return home for his family.
The Indigenous All Stars halfback left the NRL after the 2017 season when he landed a rich three-year deal with Warrington. He had wanted to play in England, and the contract on offer was too good to refuse.
But he left the Wolves after just one season, despite guiding the club to a Super League grand final and a Challenge Cup decider in his debut year.
He says while the football was enjoyable, his wife and children struggled to adapt to life in the motherland.
"You can't put a price on happiness. The kids weren't coping well, and I wasn't coping too well being so far away from home," Roberts said in camp in Melbourne.
"I'm glad to be back. We settled back into the same house and everything so it was an easy transition.
"It was a great experience, football wise. We made two grand finals which is pretty rare over there.
"The football side of it was great, but off the field... sometimes you would leave in the dark and come home in the dark. It wasn't great for the kids, it was too cold for them to go outside so they were stuck inside most of the time.
"We didn't really have any opportunities to go travelling because we played every week, so we thought it was more fit to come home.
"I just wanted to experience it. I thought it would be all right, that's why I signed three years over there.
"But I experienced it, I had a clause that if I didn't like it I could come back. I told them early that I wasn't comfortable off the field, and they respected that."
Roberts says he and his family are loving life again after rejoining the Titans and moving back to the Gold Coast.
On Friday night he will represent his family's tribe - the Bundjalung people - when he runs onto AAMI Park for the Indigenous All Stars. It's his fourth time in All Stars camp.
And after that it's back to the Titans where he is hoping to nail down a starting spot in the halves alongside young gun playmaker and his good friend Ash Taylor.
Roberts and Taylor previously took Gold Coast to NRL finals, and coach Garth Brennan hopes the combination can bear fruit once more.
They haven't played a trial ye, but will get two in before the season kicks off in a month's time.
Roberts says his job is to guide the younger Taylor and try to get the best out of his halves partner.
"He's a great footballer, he's got great skill. The less he worries about things the better he can play, and the more time he has on his hands the better footballer he's going to be," Roberts said.
"As long as I can create that I think I've done my job."