Roby insists he has no plans to retire from England duty after World Cup

St Helens hooker James Roby insists he’s got no plans to walk away from the international game following this Saturday’s World Cup final.

Roby has been one of England’s standout performers at this year’s World Cup, after forcing his way back into contention for the tournament following his omission in recent years.

He turned 32 last week, but Roby told League Express it’s unlikely he will ever call time on his international career by choice. “I’ve certainly got no thoughts about hanging the boots up for England,” he said.

“I’ll just keep playing as well as I can for St Helens and if these opportunities come around again at the end of next season, I’ll be more than happy to put my hand up and play.

“I’m a bit older now, and I can appreciate it a bit more. It’s just a great privilege to be here and we don’t want it to end yet.”

Roby, however, admits that this is likely to be his final World Cup campaign. He said: “It’s fair to say that it’ll probably be my last World Cup. I’ll be 36 by the next tournament and not many people play in a World Cup at that age.”

Following the injury that has ended Josh Hodgson’s World Cup over the weekend, Roby is now almost certain to start in Saturday’s final against Australia. And he hopes that a return to the final after a 22-year absence can catapult Rugby League’s popularity in this country.

He said: “Hopefully it increases the media coverage, and we can get a bit more exposure for the sport.

“Even if it just turns a few peoples’ heads and gets them talking about Rugby League, then great.

“We know we’re pretty much confined to the M62, barring the odd exception, and we need to grow it as much as we can. International rugby is the place to grow the sport because the better England do, the more fans you get watching. That then snowballs into more money coming in.”