Proud Samoan sporting family
In the multi-talented family of Castleford utility Ben Roberts, it’s hard to stand out as a professional sportsman.
Roberts, who grew up in Sydney but has Samoan and New Zealand heritage, made nearly 150 appearances in the NRL and played for the Kiwis and Toa Samoa before moving to Super League to join the Tigers in 2015.
The 30-year old has already appeared in two World Cups and played with and against some of the best rugby league stars on the planet, like Billy Slater and Jarryd Hayne, but he’s not the biggest sporting name in his extended clan.
Not when your family includes an ex-English Premier League footballer on one side, and several former All Blacks on another.
Roberts’ cousin is former Everton and Millwall midfielder Tim Cahill. Now 36, Cahill has starred in three FIFA World Cups and he is regarded as one of Australia’s greatest ever soccer players.
Cahill’s volley against the Netherlands in Brazil in 2014 was regarded as one of the best goals of that tournament.
Now playing in China, Cahill is still banging in the goals and has set his sights on reaching a fourth FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018.
Roberts grew up in the same city as Cahill and his two brothers, with backyard sporting contests a regular feature.
“The Cahill clan have always been skilful soccer players,” the stand-off says.
“If we ever went to their place it was to play soccer. If they came to our place it was to play rugby.
“They’ve obviously got all the football skills in them and we’ve got all the rugby skills on our side.”