Ian Roberts (rugby league)

Ian Roberts (Rugby League)

Rugby League Biography
Rugby League Biography Less

Ian Roberts (rugby league)

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Ian Roberts (born 31 July 1965) is an Australian actor and former professional rugby league footballer of the 1980s and 1990s. Late in his football career he announced he was gay, the first person to do so in the game's history, gaining him much attention in Australia and worldwide. A New South Wales State of Origin and Australian international representative forward, he played club football with the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, and North Queensland Cowboys.

Football career

Club career

A Souths junior, Roberts made his first grade debut with the Rabbitohs in the 1986 Winfield Cup season. By the age of 21, Jack Gibson had described him as "the best front rower in the game," and in 1988 Roberts made the first of five appearances for City Origin.

Despite not having yet played for either New South Wales or Australia, Roberts signed a contract with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in 1990. At the end of the 1994 NSWRL season, he went on the 1994 Kangaroo tour.

After moving from the Rabbitohs to Manly he quickly justified his value with State of Origin selection and a Test debut against New Zealand. Roberts finally made a Kangaroo tour, leading up front in Australia's Ashes winning 23-4 Third Test victory at Elland Road. Not long after, Roberts signed with Super League despite his club and coach Bob Fulton remaining loyal to the Australian Rugby League. He played in Manly's loss to the Bulldogs in the...
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