INJURY to Jarrod Mullen has placed even more importance on Tyron Roberts’ playmaking ability with the Knights in this 2014 NRL season.
Halfback Tyrone Roberts re-signed for a further two years this week, keeping the 22-year-old at the Newcastle Knights until 2016.
Roberts, who has been in the Knights system since 2005, made his NRL debut in 2011 as a 19-year-old and has since played 52 NRL games.
He enjoyed a breakout season in 2013, playing in all 27 games, and more recently captained the Knights in a trial match against the First Nations Goannas.
“Tyrone is an outstanding young man and has a wonderful future ahead of him,” coach Wayne Bennett said.
“It has been pleasing to see him grow in confidence and we are delighted he has re-signed with the club.
“Tyrone is one of our key young players who will be a long-term player at the Newcastle Knights.”
Roberts is pleased to secure his future at the Knights.
“I have been at the club for a while now and I’m really happy to re-sign for another two years.
“It’s great to have this all sorted so I can concentrate on football and on working hard for the club.
“I love playing for the Knights and I am now just looking forward to the season ahead.”
He will play an even more important role following Mullen’s serious hamstring injury.
With Mullen out for more than half the season, Roberts will have a new halves partner.
Tomorrow night Michael Dobson will play in the Raiders trial with Kurt Gidley missing due to a foot injury.
Barring any injuries in their trial against Newcastle, the Raiders should enter round one of the NRL with all players in their squad fit and firing to go for the first time in a long time.
While not pointing the finger at any rival clubs, Stuart said his side’s injury-free campaign was partly thanks to only sending players who already had a large chunk of pre-season under their belt – even if that meant holding back his star power for the “great concept”.
“Which is why I didn’t send away (Anthony) Milford and (Josh) Papalii, because they hadn’t had the right preparation for it,” he said.
“They’ve only been back training four weeks and I didn’t feel as though it was the right time to go away and play Nines.
“It’s a different brand of football – there’s a lot more work done under fatigue.”
Stuart said he was glad the concept was a success, as there was a lot to benefit from if the playing roster was managed appropriately.
“It’s a real shame to see the injuries, and it’s a pity, but from my club’s point of view is that we got a lot out of it,” he said.
“We sent a lot of boys away who had never played first grade before, who had never played in front of such big crowds in such a big atmosphere. They got a hell of a lot out of it.”