After a start to the 2019 NRL season he'd rather forget, South Sydney recruit James Roberts says being back at the Rabbitohs feels like home.
Home is where the heart is for James Roberts and the South Sydney recruit's heart is definitely happy in Redfern.
While the ex-Brisbane flyer would certainly have preferred to be playing in NSW's thumping State of Origin win in Perth on Sunday night, he'll take watching the game from his home in Sydney after a turbulent start to 2019.
Roberts went from Origin star to reserve-grader in a few months under Anthony Seibold at the Broncos before being granted a release from Red Hill in late May.
One of the worst-kept secrets in the NRL was confirmed within minutes of his Broncos departure when he linked up with former Broncos coach Wayne Bennett at Souths on a two-and-a-half year deal.
A Rabbitohs junior who made his first-grade debut at the Bunnies in 2011, Roberts has started against Newcastle and Penrith since his move south as he looks to get his career back on track.
"Obviously I've got a pretty good relationship with Wayno," Roberts said of his bond with Bennett.
"He was my first choice ... once I got released from Brisbane I was pretty keen to come down here and come back home.
"It worked out for the best."
Sam Burgess and John Sutton - who both played alongside Roberts in his NRL debut for the Rabbitohs against Canterbury eight years ago - were among those to welcome him back to the club.
It's that response which has got Roberts looking forward, not back, as he aims to rediscover the form which earned him a Blues jersey in 2018.
"You want to play the best type of footy on the big stages but it just wasn't meant to be this year," Roberts said of losing his Origin place.
"A few things went on this year that couldn't really be prevented, I guess, but I'm just focusing on my job at Souths at the moment.
"I'm looking forward to coming to training again. It's been really good.
"I haven't felt like that in a long time. I'm really enjoying it."
Roberts will be looking to claim his first win since his return to the Rabbitohs, who are on a three-game losing run, on Thursday against Wests Tigers.
Souths were given a boost on Monday with halfback Adam Reynolds and centre Braidon Burns coming through a full training session.
Both will come into contention when Bennett names his team on Tuesday.
"They got through the session pretty well today," Sutton said.
"I don't know what the coach is thinking with the team as yet but come Thursday we'll have a good idea of how they pulled up."