Ben Roberts will depart the Storm come the end of the 2014 season, signing a two-year deal with Super League side the Castleford Tigers. Credit: Brett Crockford. Copyright: NRL Photos.
For the second time in three weeks the Melbourne Storm has been informed that another of its halves will be departing the club come the end of the season.
Ben Roberts has signed a two-year deal that will see him join English Super League team Castleford Tigers at the conclusion of Melbourne’s 2014 campaign.
Roberts, along with Cody Walker, makes his departure after just one season in the purple jersey.
Walker announced three weeks ago he would leave Melbourne to join the Rabbitohs for the next two seasons.
Roberts has played eight games this year for the Storm and has found himself in and out of the side.
However since Copper Cronk suffered a broken arm in Origin I, Melbourne has found itself needing to lean on Roberts as its most experienced halfback.
In the past month, the former Eels and Bulldogs playmaker has shown signs of the type of consistency that has seemed to elude him throughout his past eight seasons at NRL level.
With six try assists and an average of 114 kick metres per game to his name in 2014, his stats have started to reflect that.
But with 138 first grade games under his belt, the 28-year-old believes the time had come to look abroad.
"It has always been there, and I have always considered it an option," Roberts told the Castleford website.
"It has never really come around in my rugby league career, but right now I think it is the perfect time for me to come. I have a young family, and I think doing it on my own would have been pretty tough.
"The fact that I am now married with a little one will mean it is a good experience for all three of us.”
Melbourne will no doubt be disappointed by Roberts’ decision, especially given both he and Walker made their decision to leave the club less than six months into their first season at the Storm.
Melbourne managed to get one over its counterparts from the UK, when it announced the signing of Wigan halfback Blake Green last month.
However with Roberts and Walker set to leave and Green to arrive after four previous inconsistent seasons at NRL level, it appears the revolving door in the halves looks set to continue for the Victorian side.