St Helens coach Nathan Brown has explained why star hooker James Roby has made himself unavailable for England at the Four Nations.
The 28-year-old, who is on the Man of Steel shortlist following another sensational season, was almost certain to be Steve McNamara’s first choice hooker down under before electing to have minor off-season surgery on his troublesome ankles.
“He’s just got a tidy-up, that’s all,” Brown explained. “It’s for Robes’ long-term benefit.
“He’s been playing for England for 10 years straight and he just needs a tidy-up. It’s not causing him any inconvenience.
“He’s just signed a five-year contract for the club and he’s obviously a well-paid player and he’s a St Helens boy and he wants to do what’s best for St Helens.
“He’d still dearly want to play for England I think but he needs that time out to get his body in the right shape for next year’s competition.”