The orchestrator of Australia’s most recent World Cup success, and one of the greatest players of all time, Mal Meninga, has spoken about the amazing accomplishments of James Roby and whether or not he could have made it in the NRL.
Roby is coming into his 20th season with Saints and has won everything there is available in domestic rugby league in the UK, including the last four Super League Grand Finals.
Meninga is also a Saints legend, that despite only spending one year with the club in 1984–85 when they paid £30,000 for his services in the biggest rugby league transfer of that era.
In that season Meninga lit up British rugby league and he won the Lancashire Cup and more importantly the Premiership (Grand Final equivalent) having come second to Hull KR in the league table.
During that time Maninga scored an impressive 38 tries in 31 games and as such, despite his short playing time in England, is still adhered as one of Saints greatest players and one of UK rugby league’s greatest overseas signings.
Speaking on the YouTube channel ‘Redvee’ he was asked how Roby would have coped in the NRL.
“He’s been a marvelous player for the club and for England. He’d have made it over (in the NRL) no problems at all,” Maninga explained before crediting his commitment to Saints and the game in general.
“He chose to stay here and he’s had 20 fantastic years, it wouldn’t have surprised me to see him playing for England in the World Cup. He’s been a great stalwart for rugby league over here.
“He’s played in an era where the team has been highly successful and he’s been part of that obviously, but he’ll have had to work his butt off to do what he did and to stay for as long as he did.
“To last 20 years in the game of rugby league is a huge compliment to the way he keeps himself in shape, and how resilient and durable he is.”
Roby will captain Saints again this season and looks set to build on his incredible career with the potential to pass a mammoth 550 appearances should he remain healthy.
You can watch the full interview below or click here.