Wests Tigers sign James Roberts, Daine Laurie

James Roberts with Wests Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe. Picture: Wests Tigers
James Roberts with Wests Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe. Picture: Wests Tigers

Wests Tigers have signed two new players for their upcoming seasons.

The club secured the signature of 27-year-old centre James Roberts for the 2021 and 2022 seasons on Thursday, while youngster Daine Laurie was announced as joining the club in 2022 on Friday.

Roberts, who has represented his state as part of the NSW Blues and also played in the Indigenous All-Stars team, joins the club immediately on a two-year deal, with options in the club's favour.

The speedy outside back has previously played with the Souths Sydney Rabbitohs, Penrith Panthers, Gold Coast Titans and Brisbane Broncos.

Roberts said he was excited to join the black, white and orange.

"I'm very excited to be a part of a quality club which is obviously on the rise," he said.

"The opportunity to reunite with [former Souths coach and current Tigers coach] Michael Maguire is too good to pass up and I'm looking forward to working closely with him again.

"I'm also really impressed with the work Wests Tigers are doing in creating pathways for Aboriginal people and it's something I'm really passionate about.

"I'd like to thank South Sydney for the support they've given me and my family over the past two years and I can't wait to start my new chapter with Wests Tigers."

Maguire said Roberts' presence would have a great effect on the club.

"James is clearly and exceptional footballer who will add a lot to our side and I'm very pleased to see him continue his rugby league career with Wests Tigers," he said.

"I've worked closely with James before and know that he has a good team around him to help get back to the player that we know he can be.

"I'm looking foward to seeing him back on the rugby league field in 2021 and displaying the talent and commitment that I know will add a lot to our team moving forward."

'Jimmy the Jet' has scored 74 tries in his career, which has been marred at times by a variety of off-field incidents.

Club chief executive Justin Pascoe said he commended Roberts' attitude throughout the negotiation process.

"On behalf of all at the club, I'd like to welcome James to Wests Tigers," he said.

"James is a phenomenal athlete and provides another X-factor to our outside backs.

"We firmly believe that the NRL is better off having talents like James in the competition and we're looking forward to working closely with him both on and off the field.

"James understands the responsibility he has to his teammates, the Wests Tigers members and all those associated with the club and is extremely determined to ensure this opportunity directly contributes to the success of the Wests Tigers."

Also joining the Wests Tigers ranks in 2022 is Daine Laurie.

The 21-year-old is contracted to the Penrith Panthers for the upcoming 2021 season, but has signed a two-year contract with Wests beginning the season after.

Laurie is a Grafton Ghosts junior and was named Penrith's Jersey Flegg player of the year in his first season with the club, scoring 23 tries in 33 games over the course of the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

The youngster made his first grade debut this year in round 13, before going on to play in two more NRL games.

Pascoe said he was delighted to see a player with Laurie's exceptional talent commit to his future at the club.

"Daine is one of the best young fullbacks in the game and we're very excited to see him take the next steps in his rugby league career with Wests Tigers," he said.

"His commitment to the future of Wests Tigers highlights the strong squad and future that coach Michael Maguire is delivering for this club, and we're looking forward to welcoming Daine into our colours at the start of the 2022 season."