Young Bradford Bulls pretender Roberts still looking and learning from his big hero Burgess (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Young Bradford Bulls pretender Oliver Roberts still looking and learning from his big hero Sam Burgess
Oliver Roberts says he has been inspired by former Bulls star Sam Burgess as he gears up for a big campaign.
The highly-rated back-rower has followed Burgess’s career since he rose to prominence at Bradford as a 17-year-old in 2006.
Burgess has since emerged as arguably the best forward in the world since moving to South Sydney Rabbitohs ahead of the 2010 campaign.
His awesome display in England’s heartbreaking World Cup semi-final defeat at the hands of New Zealand enhanced his reputation further.
Roberts, who turned 19 on Christmas Eve, said: “I came to Bradford to watch Sam Burgess when I was younger and on scholarship at Salford.
“I remember him coming flying out of the line trying to smash anyone he could.
“He made a brilliant impact and I always hoped to be able to do something like that myself. He was one of the best players in Super League when he played here and he’s now one of the best in the NRL.
“He has it all really in that he can put in a big hit and he can run a good line.
“He carries the ball very strongly and he leads the way in the forwards.
“He’s killing it every week in the NRL and is definitely one of the best players in the world. He’s certainly an inspiration to me.”
Roberts made his Super League debut off the bench at St Helens in June and featured again at Wigan a month later.
He did not look out of place and, having represented England’s Academy side earlier this year, he is aiming to make the step up into the second-tier England Knights.
He added: “I’m 19 now so the Knights is the next step for me.
“My goal now is to push for the Knights and then maybe the England senior side one day.
“I would love to represent my country at the highest level.
“It’s just about playing some first-team games for the Bulls and then seeing where I go from there. Hopefully I’ll be knocking on the door.”
* Bulls players and staff are expected to be paid today following a delay over the Christmas and Bank Holiday period.
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