Ben Roberts is urging Castleford Tigers fans not to compare him with Zak Hardaker as he prepares to make the switch to full-back.

The 32-year-old Samoa international has made the majority of his 57 Betfred Super League appearances for the Tigers at stand-off but for 2018 will be asked by coach Daryl Powell to fill in for Hardaker.
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“I sat down with Daryl a week after the Grand Final to discuss what he was thinking in terms of where I’m going to play and at the moment it’s full-back,” Roberts said. “It’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.

“The one thing I’ve learnt about myself coming over to England and playing under Daryl is to not be so one-dimensional with my game. He obviously sees some potential in me to play full-back and do a good job so to have the belief of our head coach is all I need.

“Zak had a big impact on our team last year but you can’t really compare the two of us, we’re two completely different players. I’ll sit down with Daryl and talk about where my strengths are and where I can bring them into the team.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to make enough of an impact to get the team forward and do well.”

Roberts will get a chance to try out his new role when the Tigers take on Leeds Rhinos in a pre-season friendly at the Jungle on Sunday.

With Roberts forming a dynamic half-back partnership with Luke Gale, Castleford were the trail-blazers throughout 2017, winning the League Leaders’ Shield by 10 clear points, and, although they fell at the last hurdle by losing to the Rhinos in the Grand Final, Powell’s men are fancied to be among the front-runners again.