Amos back where it began
COUNTRY Origin winger Amos Roberts will be searching the crowd for home town supporters when he runs on to BCU International Stadium next Thursday.
A graduate of Kempsey Dragons in the Group 2 Beautizone junior rugby league, Roberts has family members still playing in the local competition and relatives scattered around the region.
"I didn't stay long enough to move up to under-18s with Macleay Valley," the Sydney Roosters flyer said.
"When I was 12 I went to boarding school at St Johns College, Woodlawn, and started building towards my NRL career from there."
Team mates from school days at that great league college included Albert Torrens and current Kangaroo centre Matt King.
Roberts made a spectacular entry into big time football during the 2000 NRL season scoring 22 points from one try and nine goals in his first grade debut for St George Illawarra, a premiership record.
"That was a long, long time ago," he said if asked if the memories were still fresh in his mind.
"Maybe one day I can sit back and think about it but you have to move on.
"You have to stay fresh and concentrate on what you're doing at the moment."
Switching to Penrith in 2004, Roberts scored 23 tries in as many games and was rewarded with the title of Dally M Winger of the Year and a Deadly Award for achievements in rugby league.
The move to the Roosters followed at the beginning of 2005.
The slow start to this season hasn't blighted his prospects with selectors but it was a relief to get last weeks overdue victory over the Dragons.
"I wouldn't say both sides were struggling but we were confident we could beat them," he said.
"With that first win out of the way we'll start building some momentum to put pressure on the sides above us."
This will be Roberts' fourth straight appearance in a Country Origin jumper and he still dreams of higher honours.
"It takes hard work and consistency to play State of Origin or Test football," he said.
"You can't ask to be selected, it's the football you play that does the talking and if the opportunity comes, I want to give it my best shot."