Despite an inglorious exit from Souths in 2012, Roberts returns to the historic club a much different person.
“People keep bringing up the past and how he might go off the rails,” Amos said.
“But he’s been around a lot of good people the last few years. He’s really developed, he’s a dad and he knows it’s not all about him anymore. It’s about his kids and he has more people to look after. He’s grown. He’s different.
“He’s just looking forward to getting back out there and playing first grade.
“I think we’ll see the best of him. At the end of the day, it’s up to him and his commitment. He’s got the right support network.”
Roberts had no shortage of dramas the first time he came through the ranks at Souths, especially with some of the company he kept.
As for steering clear of La Perouse and a few bad influences, Amos said of his nephew: “I think he can do a lot of good things out there. He’s got a lot of friends there.
“Because he played his junior footy there, he has that connection to ‘LaPa’. I’m sure his little boy will probably play [rugby league] there, too, so a lot of good could come of it.”
Souths skipper Sam Burgess has remained in contact with Roberts and could not be happier the speedster is back in the red and green.
“No one player is the same as the next. That’s what we do really well at this club, we have a diverse portfolio of players, all different backgrounds, upbringing, education, but we have a sense of belonging in this team, and that’s what we create anyway. James will fit right back into that,” Burgess said.
“We have standards, we also understand people are human, we’ve figured forgiveness is not a weakness at this club, it’s probably more of a strength than anything. When you take a bit of care and love you get the best out of a player.”
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.