St Helens hooker James Roby insists he has not retired from international Rugby League, despite making himself unavailable for England at the Four Nations.
The 28-year-old, who has been Super League’s best performer this season according to Opta statistics, has decided to prioritise his club career and rest his ankles, which have been causing him distress. There is also a chance he will undergo minor off-season surgery, which coach Nathan Brown described as a routine “tidy-up”.
Roby maintains his international career isn’t over and even has an eye on the 2017 World Cup.
“That would be massive,” he said.
“I’ve played in the last two World Cups so I know what a great occasion they are and, if I’m still playing well when the next one comes around, I’ll definitely put my hand up for it.
“I’ll take it each year as it comes. Next year there’s three Tests against New Zealand and hopefully I can be involved in them.
“I’ve explained everything to Steve and he fully understands it. I’m not retiring, I’m just missing this year.
“I had both ankles operated on last year and I’ve just been getting a little bit of aggro. Obviously I’ve been doing enough to get through the season no problem but the time is right to get them sorted.
“I’ll get the game [Grand Final] out of the way and we’ll sit down with the specialist and decide one way or the other. It’s not 100 per cent definite that I’m having surgery yet but that’s an option.
“I think it’s great that Daryl Clark and Josh Hodgson get the chance to go on tour. They’ve not played for England before so hopefully they will take their opportunities with both hands. I really wish them well.”