James Roby reveals 2023 will be his last dance

James Roby is not only a stalwart of the game given his longevity but also just a legend given the quality and elite level he’s maintained over such a long career.

Aged 37 he is heading into his 20th professional campaign as a player, all of those seasons coming whilst wearing the iconic Red Vee of St Helens.

Regardless of fan affinity he’s a player that everyone in rugby league respects and he’s confirmed that this will be the last season that we get to watch his talents.

With 468 Super League appearances under his belt he’s already the leading appearance maker in the competition and with this upcoming season he’ll likely land just shy of 500, an immense total that will likely never be broken.

Speaking to the Sportsman Rugby League Youtube channel he’s spoken about making the decision to carry on in 2022, but insists 2023 is his last dance.

“I’m thankful I made the right decision I think, I’m all geared up. This one obviously will be my last one definitely I think.

“I’ve got a few too many signs now and I know myself and within myself what my body is capable of and obviously mentally as well. I’m really looking forward to it, I obviously and hopefully want it to be another successful year for us at St Helens.”

Successful years are something that he’s become incredibly familiar with during his time at St Helens, not least due to the four consecutive Grand Finals lifted since the 2019 season, but also the 2006 and 2014 titles as well as four Challenge Cups.

So whilst he already has six Grand Finals to his name, which only a handful of Leeds Rhinos’ greats can trump, the draw to win a seventh and more specifically a fifth in a row has motivated Roby’s decision to go one last time.

“I think obviously we’re enjoying a great period of success for the club at the moment and I enjoyed being a part of that, part of the team and the kind of culture that we’ve got going at St Helens at the moment.

“It makes it that bit more difficult to step away when it’s going well, so I want to be a part of it one more year and hopefully be a part of lifting a couple more trophies. Obviously the ultimate aim is to go five in a row.”

As someone who’s been in the game for as long as he has, Roby was under no illusions that the chase for five will be fraught with difficulties, after all despite their near half-decade of dominance they’ve still not managed the elusive treble.

“I think if you ask every team then the aim is to go out and knock the trophies off. We’ve had some successful years and we’re aiming to do that again so hopefully we’ll do a treble, but we’ve got another 11 teams hunting us and trying to knock us off that perch.”

Saints will kick off their domestic challenge for the treble a week after everyone else as they’re currently on their way to Australia to contest the World Club Challenge.

Upon their return Castleford Tigers await with a trip to the Jungle on the cards for Roby and Co.

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