James Roby is set to break a record tonight that has stood for over 45 years and nearly half a century.
Last Friday night in France the Saints skipper matched the record held by the legendary Kel Coslett with his 531st game for the Red V. Kel’s status at the top of our appearances record has stood for over 45 years, dating back to 1976 and finally someone has matched the feat.
However, if Roby takes to the field against the Red Devils he would further cement his status as one of the finest rugby league players to ever feature for our club and to play the sport as a whole.
Now Roby has spoken about the occasion on BBC Radio Merseyside:
“I’m very proud of the occasion, proud that I’ve got to this milestone and there’s been a lot of factors that have contributed to that.
“I’ve been very lucky with injury, very lucky to be part of such a great club and the people around me, obviously my family with my wife and kids.
“I think for a hometown lad whose dream was to play for St Helens, to go on and get the all-time appearance record is a really proud moment.
“I don’t think it will properly set in until I’ve hung the boots up and I can sit back and reflect on my career.”
He also turned back to his debut: “I’d only trained once with the first team but he told me I was on the bench for Friday, I can’t remember if we were short on numbers or something but he threw me in at the deep end.
“I was super excited and couldn’t wait to play with all these guys that I’d been watching for years and years. I was more excited than nervous.
“I remember going to the game and I had trouble getting on the car park because the steward didn’t think I was a player because he’d never seen me before.
“The build-up was hectic but great for me as a player, when I was on the bench Mark Edmonson just said ‘you’re in the squad and you’ve been picked because they think you’re good enough, so go out there and be confident’.
“His words really settled me and I came on for the last 15 minutes for Sean Long and as soon as I’d made that first tackle the nerves have gone and you’re just playing another game of rugby.”
Roby also looked back on how rugby league has changed over time:
“The general speed of the game, how athletic everyone is now. You could probably get away with a couple of guys who were a bit unfit or carrying extra weight, you can’t get away with that these days. It’s so professional.”