Player once in line to replace James Roby opens up on time at St Helens

Dom Speakman retired aged 28 at the conclusion of the 2022 campaign having played for a decade in the Championship.

That wasn’t always destined to be the case though with Speakman coming through the St Helens youth team and at one point looking set to be veteran James Roby’s backup.

Speakman was chatting about his career on the ‘Trot The Egg In’ podcast and detailed his entire rugby story, including his time with Saints.

“It was sort of decided between me, Nathan Brown, Mike Rush, Neil Kilshaw and Derek Rayner that I would sort of transition into a nine,” Speakman explained.

“At the time Keiron Cunningham was the assistant coach so I spent an awful lot of time with Keiron and James Roby after training and before doing a million spin passes off your left hand, million spin passes off your right.

“Obviously it’s what you’ve got to do isn’t it? They’re all the things that go unnoticed.”

As it turned out, Speakman would only play one game in that position for Saints, with Roby unmoved in the nine role for two decades now – outlasting Speakman’s career despite being 10 years his senior.

Back to recalling his time at Saints, Speakman added: “Probably naively, I thought that when I looked at the squad ‘there’s only really James Roby here in front of me, if I have a good couple of years he’ll retire and it’ll be my spot’.

“Obviously he’s a bit like Benjamin Button, he’s still going and I’m done (retired) already.”

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