James Roby’s absence explained

St Helens face Leeds Rhinos on Friday evening in the televised game but they’ll return to the Totally Wicked Stadium without their leader James Roby.

It’s the first game that the Red Vee will play at home since they were crowned World Club Champions and it’s set to be a special occasion as it is also a repeat of the 2022 Grand Final.

Rohan Smith’s Leeds Rhinos visit looking for their first win of the season but they’ll face a strong St Helens side.

Saints have made just one change and that’s the return of Tommy Makinson after the star winger missed their round one fixture.

Makinson had failed a HIA in the World Club Challenge and therefore was declared unavailable to train for 12 days under the new concussion protocols, ruling him out for their trip to the Jungle.

Lewis Baxter drops out of the squad as a result but otherwise Paul Wellens’ men are unchanged.

Skipper James Roby and centre Will Hopoate both remain missing after picking up knocks during their trip down under, whilst Joe Batchelor is still dealing with an injury that prevented him from playing in that game.

Agnatius Paasi also misses out in the match that is expected to be a sell-out crowd with the World Club Challenge trophy set to be paraded pre-game.

Speaking to the press today, Paul Wellens revealed that Roby is dealing with a “groin issue.”

He did say, “James is one of those blokes that if I asked him to play he absolutely would but for us this is essentially Round Two and he’s 37.”

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