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Wayne Bennett reckons it was a typical Tyrone Roberts moment.


It’s late January and Bennett pulls Roberts aside to inform him of some special news.


The supercoach tells the Knights’ No.7 he will be captain for the Club's trial match against the Indigenous First Nations Goannas on February 8.


For Roberts, a proud indigenous man himself, it was an extremely happy time to be honoured with the little ‘c’ next to his name.


Yet, according to Bennett’s vivid recollections, he gave no emotion away whatsoever.


You see, no matter the situation or occasion, Roberts has always been a man of very few words.


“Oh he was pretty low key on the outside,” Bennett reflects with a grin.


“But on the inside I’m sure he was elated.”




Sure, Roberts may be quiet, but this guy has undertaken one hell of a personal transformation in the past 18 months.


You see, when Tyrone first made his top grade debut with the Knights back in 2011, he was a shy rookie who struggled with consistency on the footy field.


This gradually changed over time and now on the back of a stellar season in 2013, where he led the Club to the finals from halfback, Roberts has come of age as a footballer and person.


Bennett has noticed this growth and it's why he wanted to recognise the No.7 with the captaincy for the Knights' trial match against the First Nations Goannas.


And based Roberts' impressive pre-season, the veteran mentor has no doubts his star half will repay the faith tenfold.


“Tyrone is a pretty outstanding young man,” he says.


“Obviously he is indigenous and I wanted to reward him, because I knew it would mean a lot to him.


“He has been outstanding at training and he has been leading the way all pre-season.


“He has got a wonderful future in front of him and I knew how much it meant to him personally and for his people.


“And the role and responsibility he takes with being an indigenous boy.


“He knows they are all looking at him.”


Former Broncos and Dragons winger Wendell Sailor is in Newcastle this week as part of the First Nations Goannas coaching staff.


Sailor admits he has always been a fan of Roberts' work watching from afar and couldn't be happier to see him succeeding in the game.


"I look at young Tyrone Roberts, he has been outstanding for Newcastle," Sailor enthuses.


"I just watch the way he has progressed and that’s what rugby league does.


"You mix Tyrone with blokes like Jeremy Smith and Willie Mason and it helps enormously.


"That’s what young blokes in the game need to understand –you get an opportunity and you need to take it."


Just like Roberts has done and now he is the Knights' captain.


CLICK HERE to purchase tickets for Saturday's match at Hunter Stadium. Gates open at 3pm, the Knights play the Goannas' at 7pm.