James Roberts is seen during Brisbane Broncos training at Clive Berghofer Field in Brisbane, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. The Broncos are playing the Warriors in their round 11 NRL clash in New Zealand on Saturday night. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING
James Roberts is seen during Brisbane Broncos training at Clive Berghofer Field in Brisbane, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. The Broncos are playing the Warriors in their round 11 NRL clash in New Zealand on Saturday night. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING

Roberts and Bennett reunite at Rabbitohs

The Brisbane Broncos have granted speedster James Roberts an immediate release on his contract on compassionate grounds with the former Origin flyer signing a two-year deal with South Sydney.

Roberts will be avaliable for selection from Round 13.

"I'm really excited to be coming back to Souths and playing under Wayne again," Roberts said.

"There are some great players at this club and I can't wait to get into training and getting back on the field.

Roberts returns to his first NRL club.
Roberts returns to his first NRL club.

"I want to thank the Broncos for everything they've done for me and my family over the past four years, but it's time to move on and to be coming back to the club that I consider to be home is really special."

Roberts came through the grades at Souths and made his NRL debut for the Rabbitohs in 2011 at age 18.

He scored five tries in 10 games but was released due to breaches of his playing contract.

Broncos CEO Paul White said Roberts had asked for a release after a "strong desire" to return to New South Wales to be with his family.

Roberts has been linked to a move away from Brisbane for some time. AAP Image/Darren England.
Roberts has been linked to a move away from Brisbane for some time. AAP Image/Darren England.

"While we are disappointed to lose James, we understand his position - it wasn't in the best interests of the Club to stand in the way of a player who has expressed an honest and strong desire to return home," said White.

"We've always supported James since he arrived at our Club, and we have continued to work really hard over recent months to keep him at the Broncos.

"He has gone through tough times and great times with us. He has had two children and represented his state while being a Bronco.

"But he strongly feels that he needs to act in the best interests of his family, and that means returning to his family support network in New South Wales.

Roberts played Queensland Cup on the weekend. Image AAP/Steve Pohlner.
Roberts played Queensland Cup on the weekend. Image AAP/Steve Pohlner.

"All parties have worked together to facilitate a result that is best for all involved.

"These decisions are difficult for the player and for the Club, but one thing we do emphasise at the Broncos is that player welfare always comes into consideration when balancing decisions.

"This is the right decision for James, his family and our Club, and we thank James for all he has given to the Broncos and wish him all the best in the future."