James Roby reverses retirement decision to stay with St Helens another year
He has agreed a 12-month contract extension
St Helens captain James Roby has decided to play on in 2023 after all.
The long-serving hooker, who turns 37 in November, had been preparing to bow out this year and in September announced his retirement from international rugby league.
But Roby announced on Friday he has agreed a 12-month contract extension which will take him into a record breaking 20th season with his hometown club.
“I was aware that last year I said this was going to be my last and I was fully preparing for that,” he said.
“The more the season has gone on, I was thinking otherwise and I have thought about all the pros and cons and I have had a lot of conversations with my family and my wife and we have got to the point where I am feeling good and confident with my decision.
“It is a great opportunity for me to stay involved, not only with this successful team, but in this organisation and the opportunity to be a rugby league player for another year.
“If I didn’t feel it was right, I wouldn’t have signed as I have too much respect for this club.
“I am really looking forward to it and immediately after I made the decision, I got that fire back in my belly and I thought ‘we can do this’.
“I am really grateful and really thankful for the opportunity and I am now looking forward to one more year in the Red Vee.”
Roby, whose performances in 2022 have defied his age, will now come under pressure to play for England in the World Cup, which is 50 days away.
He recently made his 500th appearance for Saints before breaking the all-time Super League appearance record held by Kevin Sinfield.
A one-club man since making his debut against Widnes in 2004, Roby will make his 519th appearance against Wigan on Friday and is hoping to lead them to a sixth Super League title in September.
St Helens head coach Kristian Woolf, who has yet to make an announcement about his own future beyond 2022, said: “This is the biggest re-signing the club has made this year.
“We have all seen the level of footy he has been playing. He can still play long minutes every week and still has a real impact on the game with his skill set, his defence and of course his leadership.
“You only need to look at what he has done so far at the club and what he is doing on the field at the moment, his consistency, his leadership and the example he sets for everyone.
“This club is in the mould of him as a leader and we base our game around how he plays. His effort areas and the consistency of his effort is how we play here at Saints and we are all delighted he will be with the club again next season.”Published: by Radio NewsHub