Dual International Ben Roberts had quite the Rugby League career playing 226 games across four clubs and 17 internationals.
Growing up in South West Sydney Roberts applied his trade in the Campbelltown region and has reminisced on his love for Rugby League as a child.
“Grew up in South West Sydney, just outside Campbelltown in Narellan Vale. As a child the team I supported was the Canterbury Bulldogs.
“Favourite players growing up were Jim Dymock & Andrew Johns. Jimmy was built like a forward but had the skills of a halve and is one of the reasons I followed the Dogs, and Joey being one of the best halves to play the game.”
Roberts would eventually play for his favourite club the Bulldogs, debuting in 2006.
It was in that very same year he would make his New Zealand Kiwis debut and just two years later would represent Samoa at the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, as well as the 2013 and 2017 versions of the tournament enjoying each one.
“I played my first test match for New Zealand mid season against Great Britain in May 2006 aged 20.
“To be able to represent my family heritage (Samoa), and parents country of Birth (New Zealand), was a dream come true. As a kid playing Rugby League you dream about doing that and for me it came true.
“All 3 World Cups meant a lot to me. I honestly couldn’t pick a favourite as each of them have made an impact on my career in a positive way.” Roberts explained.
“There are a lot of great memories over my career, so I’d say having the opportunity to play with three great clubs with such rich history and to be apart of their history is something ill forever be proud of.
“Greatest player I’ve played with, I think its impossible to name one. If I had to name three , in no particular order: Skill and ability it’s Sonny Bill Williams, leadership would be Cameron Smith and IQ Cooper Cronk.”
Roberts headed to England in 2015 and played 78 games for Super League club the Castleford Tigers and has shared how he believes the two leagues differed and his fondest memories as a Tiger.
“The difference between the competitions, you cannot compare as I believe their two different styles of play. NRL being more defensive focused and Super League attack focused.
“My fondest memory at the club would have to be winning the League Leaders shield (Minor Premiership), which was the first time in the clubs 91 year history at the time, and making the Grand Final both in 2017 which we unfortunately lost.”
Since retiring Roberts has certainly kept himself busy with the former five-eighth receiving his ASCA (Australian Strength and Conditioning Association) certification. He has recently joined the Real MVMT team, who focus is on educating, encouraging and coaching athletes to reach their full potential in the sporting arena.
“I’ve always enjoyed the training aspect of not only Rugby League but sports in general and now that I’ve retired my new passion is performance coaching. From my own experiences in both playing and injury, I’ve wanted to use this to help other athletes prepare and maintain a healthy body both during, and post careers.
“I’ve been apart of Real MVMT for a short time, as I was introduced to Keegan Smith (Founder) through old team mate and good friend Sonny Bill Williams. He obviously knew the path that I was wanting to take and with his experience in multi code sports, he recommended me to them. In a nutshell, since being involved with their training philosophies and studies I believe it is the future for not only Rugby League but all sports.
“Because of this I’m excited to coach future athletes and know that they will be able to perform at the optimal best.”
If you’re interested in learning more about the guys at Real MVMT head to their website clicking HERE.