Broncos, Souths wait on Roberts

Wayne Bennett and Michael Maguire will be hoping one of their presents in their Christmas stocking is an NRL contract signed by James Roberts.

The former Titans flyer, who has already been sacked by two NRL clubs in his brief career, is expected to announce his club of choice today after South Sydney, Brisbane and St George Illawarra all made formal offers to his agent and uncle Jeremy Donavan and him to weigh up.

The Dragons, however, have been told they are out of the race, leaving just two clubs vying for his signature.

By all reports, Roberts isn't asking the world from his new club and is more concerned about joining a club with a coach who can take his career forward to Origin and Test level.

Bennett and Maguire both fill the bill.

"We're in the hunt, but, like everyone else, we're waiting for his decision," Bennett told APN.

Bennett and the Broncos have played the game of not giving too much away regarding Roberts, but with Justin Hodges retired they would love of a player of his try scoring talent.

Brisbane has some spare money under the salary cap without Hodges on the payroll and, by all reports, Roberts isn't asking much more than $275,000 a season, which is very affordable for a player of his exciting potential.

Punters clearly expect him to link up with Bennett, launching into Brisbane to win the 2016 premiership with Sportsbet.

However, South Sydney made a big pitch for the highly talented try scorer at the weekend which may have delayed his decision a little longer.

Meanwhile, Bennett has been impressed with the progress of solidly built Ipswich teenage recruit Carlin Anderson, who was chased by a host of NRL clubs.

"He can play, but he is a young kid," said Bennett.

"He's a fullback/winger and he is a likely type too."

Bennett has noted Dale Copley down for first crack at the vacant right centre spot and young Carlin seems likely to get a chance on the wing at some stage depending on what the coach has in mind for Corey Oates.

Copley, an athletic, strong runner, has had a chequered career in Brisbane's backline with injuries preventing him from securing a more permanent place in the side.

He has played 72 games and scored 31 tries for the club since making his debut out of high school playing fullback against Cronulla in 2009.



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