A lot has changed at the Gold Coast Titans since Tyrone Roberts last played at the NRL club just last year.
Sadly, one thing has not – the Titans are still sweating on maligned halfback Ash Taylor to realise his full potential at the NRL club.
But Roberts reckons he can help get the best out of his good mate Taylor after returning from a one season stint in the UK Super League with Warrington.
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Roberts is still trying to get his head around the differences at the Titans as he prepares to overcome a toe injury and chime into pre-season training next week.
Since his departure at the end of 2017, Garth Brennan has replaced Neil Henry as coach in a new-look structure that also created a Head of Performance and Culture role for Kangaroos mentor Mal Meninga.
Then there’s all the new faces — Tyrone Peachey, Shannon Boyd, Ryley Jacks and Brian Kelly.
Unfortunately what hasn’t changed upon his return is the criticism of young playmaker Taylor.
Tipped for Queensland State of Origin selection, Taylor began a multi-million dollar new three-year Titans deal in 2018 but failed to provide bang for buck as the Gold Coast finished third-last.
However, Roberts was confident of inspiring greatness from his mate after keeping close ties with the playmaker while in the UK.
“I have got to get the best out of Ash, to get him where he needs to be,” Roberts said.
“I spoke to Ash when I was overseas. We kept in contact but it is good to see him again.” Roberts hopes to spark No.7 Taylor by chiming into the halves at pivot after they combined well in his last 38-game Titans stint from 2016-17.
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But he faces tough opposition from incumbent AJ Brimson, NSW Origin utility Peachey and ex-Melbourne playmaker Jacks.
“I have a lot of competition there. I can’t slip up,” said Roberts.
“We have Ryley Jacks. AJ Brimson had a good crack last year.
“But we have to work together towards the same goal so when it comes to trials and round one I am sure Garth will choose the strongest side.”
Roberts returned to the Titans on a two season deal, cutting short what was supposed to be a three-year Warrington stint after losses in both the 2018 Super League and Challenge Cup grand finals.