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James Roby unsure about future

He’s part of the furniture at St Helens, but James Roby doesn’t know how many more opportunities he will get to play in big games such as the Challenge Cup semi-final at the weekend.

The hooker, who is now 35, is the only Saints player to have experienced success in the Challenge Cup, winning the competition back in 2009. And, with Roby in the twilight of his career, the number nine does not now how many more big games he will experience.

“It has been a long time, especially for a club like St Helens as we’ve always been associated with success,” Roby said.

“We’re aware with that as players and as a squad, we know that for a fact, but our main job is to concentrate on the job at hand and that is the semi-final against Hull at the weekend.

“We’d love nothing more than that to get our hands on that trophy; we’ve lost plenty of Challenge Cup games over a number of years that have stopped us getting to the final – I’m not sure whether there’s a particular reason or we’ve just been unlucky, but there’s no getting away from the fact that we want to win at Wembley.

“To play at Wembley is a massive occasion and it would be a massive honour to get there and it would be a real shot in the arm for the fans that want to make the trip too.

“I don’t know how many more chances I will get to play in a semi-final or final, I’ve got to enjoy it while it lasts.”

Roby stated that playing Hull in the league last weekend will have no bearing on this weekend’s fixture.

“We obviously want to approach the game in a similar fashion to a league game – we don’t really need to change our style of play too much just because we have played them last week.

“It is a bit irregular to play the same team in two weeks, but we’re just wanting to get our own house in order and stick to our strengths and play how we play and hopefully that will be enough on the day.”

The Saints talisman is determined to keep calm in the face of inside and outside pressure.

“I’ve been quite lucky throughout my career to play in a number of semi-finals and it’s great that we’ve got fans in the stadium this weekend.

“We’ve got to stick to our own gameplan and not get too caught up in the occasion because there is a lot of outside pressure as well as inside, but we want to do well on the field for our club.

“We will try not to let the occasion get to us – staying calm in the big moments is the one pice of advice I would give.”

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