James Roberts takes part in his first training session with the Rabbitohs. Picture: AAP
James Roberts takes part in his first training session with the Rabbitohs. Picture: AAP

Sam has subtle dig at Seibold over Roberts

SAM Burgess has taken a subtle swipe at his former coach Anthony Seibold, claiming Wayne Bennett's "forgiveness is not a weakness" philosophy will get the best out of new recruit James Roberts.

The troubled centre was cut loose from Brisbane after asking for a release following Roberts's demotion to Queensland Cup.

It's no secret Roberts was having issues adjusting to life under Seibold.

But Burgess said Roberts had settled in well after arriving back at Redfern and the players were as keen as Bennett to have him on board.

The troubled centre trained solidly this morning with Bennett take a keen interest in the session

Bennett stood directly behind Roberts throughout an opposed attack and defence drill and offered constant advice and encouragement.

Roberts will play at right centre in Friday night's clash against Newcastle.

Burgess said the Rabbitohs would not be putting any expectation on Roberts to make an immediate impact, but the inspirational Rabbitohs skipper backed up Bennett's mentality to treat every player as an individual.

"I agree with Wayne," Burgess said.

"No one player is the same as the next.

South Sydney Rabbitohs player James Roberts takes part in his first team training session. Picture: AAP
South Sydney Rabbitohs player James Roberts takes part in his first team training session. Picture: AAP

"I think that is what we do really well at this club.

"We have a diverse portfolio of players, all different backgrounds, upbringings, education. But what we do is we have a sense of belonging in the team.

"James will fit right back into that.

"We have standards, we adhere to them.

"But we also understand that people are human. We have sort of figured out forgiveness is not a weakness at this club. It is probably more a strength than anything and we take a bit of care and love and I think you probably get the best out of a player with that."

Burgess said the players would also do everything in their power to make Roberts feel welcome.

"I had a lot to do with him in his time here (previously) and even when he was away," Burgess added.

"We will certainly take care of him. We have known him for almost a decade. He will be a welcome addition. We are not expecting big things from him straight away. He has not played first grade for a couple of weeks.

"We are just thankful to have him. We are glad he is in our team and when Jimmy asserts himself in the game, it might take some weeks or some months, but at some point we will see 'Jimmy the Jet' back in action."