Renouf tips Roberts to be try-scoring record-breaker

Former Brisbane Broncos flyer Steve Renouf concedes his 21-year-old try-scoring club record could fall to the club's latest speedster, James Roberts, this season.

Not only that, Renouf believes Roberts (pictured) could test former Dragons winger Nathan Blacklock's NRL record of 25 tries in a regular season.

Renouf shares the Broncos' record for the most tries in a single regular season with former utility-support player Darren Smith, who repeated the champion centre's 1994 haul of 23 four years later.

Roberts, early co-favourite with Parramatta's blockbusting winger Semi Radradra and Manly young gun Tom Trbojevic at $10 to lead the NRL's try-scoring in 2016, is widely considered the NRL's fastest player.

That was a tag Renouf wore when he played in the centres under coach Wayne Bennett during the Broncos' golden years of the 1990s.

Renouf received magnificent service from the likes of Allan Langer and Kevin Walters, a former champion halves combination that present Brisbane halves Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford have been compared to, on potential.

"He's got two halves who played very well last year and will be better for the experience, so there's every chance he (Roberts) could do it," the man known as the Pearl told APN.

Renouf had great pace and a brilliant fend that set up a lot of his record 142 tries between 1989-99. He scored four tries in a game five times, and five tries for Brisbane in a World Club Challenge game against St Helens in 1997.

As well as having explosive leg speed and strength, Renouf said Roberts played with instinct, making him "very, very dangerous to defend against".

"You're never sure what he is going to do, and that's a great weapon for a player," Renouf said.

Roberts was overlooked for Bennett's Auckland Nines squad this weekend, where he would have had a field day, and will instead make his debut for Brisbane in a trial game at Bundaberg's Salter Oval against grand final opponents the Cowboys. Today's match is expected to attract the biggest turnout in the region for 20 years.

Unfortunately for fans the Cowboys have rested skipper Johnathan Thurston, and dispatched many of their stars to Auckland.

The Broncos will field a strong squad which includes Roberts, prop Josh McGuire, who is returning from a ruptured achilles, Ben Hunt, Matt Gillett and veteran Corey Parker.

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