James Roberts has fallen out of favour with Anthony Seibold in recent weeks. Picture: John Gass
James Roberts has fallen out of favour with Anthony Seibold in recent weeks. Picture: John Gass

Seibold denies falling out with demoted Roberts

Broncos coach Anthony Seibold has hit back at suggestions he has fallen out with James Roberts and insists he is not trying to force the dumped NSW Origin centre out of Red Hill.

On the eve of the Broncos-Roosters blockbuster on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium, Seibold rejected a claim from Roberts' close friend, former Dragons star Anthony Mundine, that there is a personal rift between the duo.

A snappy Seibold also dismissed speculation Roberts cannot play in the Intrust Super Cup this week due to visa issues travelling to Papua New Guinea and said he feels no need to justify his team selections.

Three-game greenhorn Gehamat Shibasaki has been chosen ahead of Roberts and is set to mark up against Roosters sensation Latrell Mitchell in the biggest test of his fledgling career.

"James understands what he needs to do to get back in the team," Seibold said.

"There is no lack of feedback and there hasn't been a falling out. I just think at the moment James has to work on some areas of his game.

"I've answered questions about James three or four times over the past three or four press conferences.

"There is no other avenue for Jimmy to get back into the team other than to train well and play well. He is a quality player so the door is not shut on Jimmy.

"How I choose my side, I just don't do it myself, I consult my senior players and the assistant coaches and then I come up with a decision.

"I'm not going to sit here and have to justify my decisions any further."

Roberts is dual registered with Brisbane's feeder-club Wynnum Manly, who will travel to PNG this week to play the Hunters.

For the second consecutive week, Roberts will not play any football, with Seibold explaining why the out-of-favour Blues speed machine isn't getting game time with Wynnum.

Anthony Seibold defended his demotion of the Brisbane flyer. (AAP Image/Darren England)
Anthony Seibold defended his demotion of the Brisbane flyer. (AAP Image/Darren England)

"That was our choice not to send him to Wynnum. It wasn't anything to do with visa issues," he said.

"It was my decision not to send him to PNG.

"I didn't think it was fair on Jimmy and fair on Wynnum.

"We felt he would get a better opportunity to get better by training with us all week rather than have to go up there and travel.

"I just think Gehamat deserves his opportunity. He has great potential.

"There will be some challenges along the way for those centres (Shibasaki and Kotoni Staggs), but Jimmy knows what he needs to do to get back in the team.

"There is no lack of communication from me."

Seibold confirmed new recruit James Segeyaro will start off the bench against the Roosters, who thumped Brisbane 36-4 in round four, to support Jake Turpin at hooker.

Pat Carrigan will be relegated to 18th man duties if veteran back-rower Alex Glenn overcomes the flu at Thursday's captain's run.

"James (Segeyaro) will play," Seibold said. "He will be in the 17 and come off the bench, he will do a good job for us there.

"The Roosters did towel us up in round four, but we aren't the only team they have towelled up this year.

"We want Tom Dearden (halfback) and Jake Turpin in those key positions to stand up tall for us but they are the premiers for a reason and top of the table for a reason. We believe we can get the job done, no doubt about that."

News Corp Australia


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