COVID brush, Roberts' NRL future in doubt

·1-min read

James Roberts' immediate future is clouded after it was revealed the Wests Tigers centre was left behind in Sydney after visiting a COVID-19 exposure site.

Roberts will miss Sunday's clash with Brisbane while he remains in a COVID hold, while unable to join the team for at least another four days.

The 28-year-old did not breach the NRL's bubble when he was at the same venue as a known case while shopping for essential services.

Has he since returned a negative test, but the drama couldn't have come at a worse time for the off-contract speedster.

He is now at the mercy of the Queensland government, which is yet to allow families and other players into the state on the second load of flights.

South Sydney star Benji Marshall was forced to miss Sunday's game against Canterbury after he was unable to enter the state on Saturday as planned.

Even when and if Roberts can fly into Brisbane, there is also a chance he could struggle to enter the Tigers' bubble.

It's believed the club already have the maximum 41 people in the bubble, meaning they would either need to release one person or seek an exemption from the NRL to add him.

The former NSW State of Origin centre appears unlikely to be at the club next year, with an option in the Tigers' favour for 2022 not yet taken up.

Michael Maguire is also set to roll out 25-year-old debutant Junior Pauga in the centres this week.

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