James Roby: St Helens skipper retires from international duty

James Roby
Roby has made more than 500 professional appearances with St Helens, England and Great Britain

St Helens captain James Roby has retired from international duty with immediate effect.

The hooker made 36 appearances for England and seven for Great Britain during a 15-year international career.

He hoped to play in the 2021 World Cup but the tournament's delay until 2022 is "a year too far" for Roby, 35.

"I've had some incredible experiences and standing for the national anthem as an England or Great Britain player is something I'll never forget," he said.

Roby has made more than 500 professional appearances with St Helens, England and Great Britain.

"Time waits for no man," he added, speaking to his club's website.

"I'll be supporting Shaun [Wane] and the boys next year, and there's no reason why they can't go all the way."

Roby's international debut came as a 20-year-old for Great Britain against New Zealand in 2006.

He featured in three World Cups for England - including the closely fought World Cup final against Australia in Brisbane in 2017 - and scored six international tries.

"We were so close to beating Australia and we were close too at Wembley in 2013. I'd have loved to have won some silverware, but we were always the nearly men.

"I've been fortunate to line up alongside some real enforcers - James Graham, Sam Burgess, Jamie Peacock, Adrian Morley... I loved taking the field with players like them."

England head coach Shaun Wane said he was "gutted" he didn't get the chance to coach Roby while part of the international set-up, but "understands the reason for his decision".

"James is one of those players who consistently delivers exactly what coaches want and he very rarely gets it wrong," Wane said.

"That's why fellow professionals rave about him, he's a legend."

Roby, who recently signed up for one more year with the club, has been with St Helens for his entire professional career.

Next week he will lead St Helens' quest for a third consecutive Super League title.

The four-time Super League Grand Final winner and four-time Challenge Cup winner will play his 19th and final season for the Saints in 2022.

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