Roberts still has a role to play

AMOS Roberts has been reassured he still has a big part to play for Wigan.

The Australian has struggled to rekindle his scorching best form since suffering a serious knee injury on Easter Monday last year.

He has not figured in the last four matches and was last week dropped to the Under-20s – a sharp contrast from the start of last season when he was one of the early front-runners for the Man of Steel award.

But coach Michael Maguire says the 30-year-old is still in his plans.

And he has praised the way the former St George-Illawarra, Penrith and Sydney Roosters points-scoring machine continues to work during training.

He said: “Amos has done everything we’ve asked and him – and probably a lot more. He’s very hungry to get back into the side.

“He’s working extremely hard to get some opportunities and if he carries on, I’m sure they’ll come his way.”

After a disappointing debut campaign in 2009, Roberts appeared to really benefit from Maguire’s coaching when he started last season on fire.

His all-action performances delighted supporters as he scored 13 tries in the first 15 matches.

But he injured his knee while scoring a try against Wakefield on Easter Monday – colliding with the upright in a tackle by Daryl Millard – and since then, has shown only flashes of his dazzling best.

He scored just one try in six further appearances last year, missing out on the play-offs and Grand Final, and though he played in five games earlier this season – including the World Club Challenge – he has yet to hit top-gear.

Roberts, who can operate on the wing or at full-back, made his last appearance in the 22-22 draw at Leeds on April 1.

The return of Pat Richards – and the sparkling form of Josh Charnley – have kept him out of the side.

Maguire added: “People probably don’t realise just how big an injury it was.

“Amos wrapped his knee around a goal-post and that created a lot of dramas in the knee.

“I’ve got a really competitive team at the moment and you have to work hard to get into the side. But Amos is handling it very well and working very hard.”

l Lam linked with return – page 43