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Souths star Roberts back in rehab clinic

"Margery Belair" (2020-06-21)


James Roberts' immediate playing future is under a cloud after the South Sydney star checked himself back into a rehabilitation clinic.

E.M 247: \ud1a0\ud1a0 \ubc30\ud305 \uc0ac\uc774\ud2b8,\uc628\ub77c\uc778\ubc30\ud305The Rabbitohs confirmed on Tuesday that the NSW State of Origin centre had entered a facility "to undergo treatment to assist with and support his health".

The matter is not believed to centre around alcohol, but it marks the 27-year-old's third such treatment.

The speedster first entered a rehab facility in Thailand in 2016 shortly after joining Brisbane, and then returned two years later.

His latest visit is believed to have begun two weeks ago and he has been supported by coach Wayne Bennett.

Bennett has long been a close ally of Roberts, after the pacy centre moved from the Broncos to reunite with him at South Sydney last year.

He scored just one try in 12 games for Souths last season, but looked to be in better form in the opening two games of the season.

Souths have not indicated how long Roberts will be unavailable for but any absence could prompt a backline reshuffle.

Alex Johnston played off the bench in the opening two rounds before entering the game late as a replacement for Latrell Mitchell at fullback.

One option could see Johnston start at fullback, with Mitchell a natural fit to return to the centres in place of Roberts.

If the Rabbitohs opt to persist with the Latrell experiment at No.1, then Johnston could play on the wing with Dane Gagai going back to the centres where he spent half of last year.

Regardless, Souths have thrown their arms around Roberts and requested the star's privacy be respected.

Former teammates and other NRL players also reached out to the centre on Tuesday after the news broke.

St George Illawarra hooker Issac Luke voiced his support on social media, 온라인토토사이트 while Ex-Brisbane centre Tautau Moga threw his arms around his old teammate.

"We still speak now and then," the Knights centre said.

"I was pretty close with him. Hopefully he is all well, I wish him all the best. I will probably message him after this."

North Queensland and former Kangaroos centre Justin O'Neill added that it was an important example for anyone struggling in society during the coronavirus shutdown.

"It takes a lot of courage to put your hand up and get the help that you need, I think it is very brave," O'Neill said.

"It's definitely tough times that we are going on not just in sport but everyone in the community (with coronavirus).

"With the restrictions and everyone's lifestyle changing, there has also been financial hardship in the community.

"I think we need to be wary of that and be looking out for each other."

The Rabbitohs are expected to play in the first game back from the coronavirus hiatus against arch-rivals the Sydney Roosters on May 28.

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