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James Roby: St Helens hooker signs one-year contract extension with Super League champions | Rugby League News

Roby made his debut for St Helens in 2004 after graduating from the club’s academy and has spent his entire career with his hometown club. ” I have signed for one more year and I am committed to that, looking forward to it and I believe I still have value to this team,” the hooker said

Last Updated: 19/08/21 3:04pm


St Helens captain James Roby said it was an easy decision to sign a contract extension with the champions, but added that his 19th season will likely be his last.

St Helens captain James Roby said it was an easy decision to sign a contract extension with the champions, but added that his 19th season will likely be his last.

St Helens captain James Roby said it was an easy decision to sign a contract extension with the champions, but added that his 19th season will likely be his last.

James Roby will take his glittering playing career into a 19th season after agreeing a one-year contract extension with St Helens.

The 35-year-old has spent his entire career with his hometown club, making his first-team debut off the interchange bench against Widnes Vikings in 2004 after graduating from Saints’ academy and going on to make 485 appearances with 110 tries in the Red Vee so far.

Roby, who last month captained St Helens to their first Challenge Cup final triumph for 13 years, has now signed an extension for the 2022 campaign and the hooker is delighted to be playing on for at least one more season.

“I am very lucky to be a part of this club and organisation,” Roby said. “I am very privileged to play here, to get up in the morning and do what I do.

“As you get older you do think the end is near and I knew I was off-contract at the end of this year and thought this could be my last season, but I never saw myself playing anywhere else and if the club hadn’t offered me a new deal I would have called it a day.

“But I have signed for one more year and I am committed to that, looking forward to it and I believe I still have value to this team. I am excited to go again.

“I am still that young, a local lad at heart. It’s so special to be a hometown lad and as a kid I wanted to play for St Helens and I have been lucky enough to do that for nearly 19 years.”

Relive James Roby's stunning try for St Helens in the 2007 derby clash with Wigan Warriors

Relive James Roby’s stunning try for St Helens in the 2007 derby clash with Wigan Warriors

Relive James Roby’s stunning try for St Helens in the 2007 derby clash with Wigan Warriors

In total, Roby has tasted Super League Grand Final glory on four occasion with Saints – including captaining the side in last year’s thrilling win over old rivals Wigan Warriors – lifted the Challenge Cup five times and won the World Club Challenge.

On an individual level, he has been named in Super League’s Dream Team six times, won the Man of Steel award in 2007 and has earned international recognition with both Great Britain and England, including appearing in three Rugby League World Cups for the latter.

St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus paid tribute to the impact Roby has made both at the club and in the sport as a whole, and could not be happier to have retained the services of a player already regarded as one of Saints’ all-time greats.

“James is one of the greatest players in the history of St Helens,” McManus said. “He is also our talisman and our leader.

I never saw myself playing anywhere else and if the club hadn’t offered me a new deal I would have called it a day.

James Roby on his new one-year contract with St Helens

“It’s great that he’s agreed to extend his career for a further season and there’s no doubt that he will continue to play a key and pivotal role in our success.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have him at the club and Saints fans and rugby league fans should cherish him for as long as he continues to grace our club and our sport.”

Head coach Kristian Woolf, who recently extended his stay at Totally Wicked Stadium for another year as well, believes Roby’s experience will prove invaluable for the team and the next generation of youngsters making their way through the academy to senior level.

“It is no secret we are in a bit of a transitional period with some of our younger blokes starting to have more of a presence in the squad and they will have more responsibility next year,” Woolf said.

James Roby finished off a fine attack try during St Helens' 2007 Super League Grand Final clash with Leeds Rhinos

James Roby finished off a fine attack try during St Helens’ 2007 Super League Grand Final clash with Leeds Rhinos

James Roby finished off a fine attack try during St Helens’ 2007 Super League Grand Final clash with Leeds Rhinos

“So, to be able to have a player of James Roby’s calibre, with his leadership, him as a person and the example that he sets – there is no better person in our game to help young players develop.

“It’s great that he wants to do another year and it is something we can all really look forward to. If next year is James Roby’s last year as a player, then that is something we are all privileged to be a part of.”


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