James Roberts

Broncos release James Roberts

Fox Sports reported that the Broncos announced on Wednesday they had agreed to cut Roberts’ contract short after he requested a release on compassionate grounds.

Roberts has signed a contract with the Rabbitohs which runs to the end of 2021.

“I’m really excited to be coming back to Souths and playing under Wayne again,” Roberts said.

“There are some great players at this club and I can’t wait to get into training and getting back on the field.

Broncos re-sign Roberts for four years

The Broncos announced the retention of Roberts to a long-term deal on Thursday morning that not only provides stability for the oft-troubled right centre but gives Brisbane try-scoring potency they believe can help break their 11-year premiership drought.

"The club is proud of the support we have shown James, but also the responsibility he has taken on to earn this new contract," said Broncos CEO Paul White.

"The long-term nature of the contract is a show of faith by the Broncos in James, but also by James in the Broncos."

James Roberts prepped for a big 2017

The centre scored nine tries last season after a limited preparation, but has been at pre-season training with the Broncos since November ahead of his second campaign with Brisbane after making a switch from the Titans.

Broncos Roberts suspended

He faces a one week ban unless he can beat the charge at the judiciary.

While the Broncos are yet to lodge a plea, if Roberts is sidelined, Wayne Bennett will be forced into changing his backline.

Tom Opacic missed last week’s match with a shoulder injury but is expected to be fit to return to the filed this week.

Opacic, 22, has played eight games in his rookie season and averages 78 metres per game.

He’s scored four tries and made 14 tackles busts.