KIDS in St Helens are brought up on a diet of disliking their neighbours from over Billinge Lump.
It’s a rivalry that goes back through the generations and one that gets stronger as the big games approach.
Saints v Wigan are always full-blooded affairs with no quarter given… even in friendlies.
Being a Sintelliner by birth, James Roby grew up with the derby and his Testimonial will see the two sides lock horns this Friday.
“Being a hometown lad I can’t think of any better opposition for a Testimonial,” he said. “I have grown up with the rivalry of Saints and Wigan and it is the type of game that I’d like to think would get most fans excited.
“They are bringing a strong side over so it will be two teams going at it for a last hit-out before the season starts.
“There are new signings on show on both sides. They have got Matty Bowen at full back – a tried and tested player in the NRL with a big profile. They have Hopkins, Sarginson and Clubb too. They are a strong team, defend well and are aggressive. They are the Champions so there is no stiffer test than that.”
He continued: “We’re all excited about it and a few lads are bouncing around. As the week progresses we will sense it more and be switched on a bit more and we won’t need firing up.”
With the number of new signings and confidence around the camp, Roby is certainly looking forward to the new season and getting going again.
He missed a number of games in 2013 through successive ankle injuries but is now more than good to go.
“I had been very lucky to have played ten years and 300 career games when I did my ankle. I’ve never had one that has needed surgery,” Roby added. “Then last year had both ankles operated on. Hopefully that was a one off because it was a bit stop start for me and I can get a good run of games.”
James Roby’s Testimonial match will see Saints take on Wigan Warriors tonight (Friday)..
It will kick off at 8pm and tickets remain on sale from the ticket office and the turnstiles on matchnight.
Prices for the game are:
Totally Wicked North and Solarking South Stands – £12 (adults), £10 (Senior Citizens over 60-years-of-age) and £5 (juniors).
The Hattons Solicitors West Stand – £10 (adults), £8 (Senior Citizens over 60-years-of-age) and £5 (juniors).
You can find more details about James’ Testimonial events by visiting www.jamesrobytestimonial.co.uk