Roberts to take Castleford fullback role in 2018

Daryl Powell has named Ben Roberts as his first choice fullback for 2018.

Following the loss of Zak Hardaker to an expected drugs ban, there has been speculation as to who would replace the Man of Steel contender in the position.

But Powell has put talk to bed by confirming Roberts will take the role.

“I think it’s his natural position anyway,” he told the club’s official website.

“I had intentions of playing him at fullback a fair bit last year. For different reasons out of our control – the Rangi Chase situation was out of our control and that meant Zak stayed at fullback throughout the competition and he was awesome there so it was very difficult to change that.

“But Benny Roberts is a natural fullback. I don’t think he’s a natural halfback, he’s a very good halfback but I think fullback is his best position.

“In some ways I think we look more of a well-balanced team than we did last year, but it’s hard to discount losing a player like Zak.

“I think his dummy half running, which is a key part of the fullback role is outstanding, and his running ability is second to none, so I think he’s really going to trouble defences. The one thing Benny has to do is make sure he’s fit because it’s a tough position to play.”

Roberts’ move to fullback will likely make Jamie Ellis the club’s first choice partner for Luke Gale.