Roby appointed Leadership, Culture & Performance Coach

Following an illustrious 20-year playing career for his hometown club, James Roby continues his association with St.Helens R.F.C. as part of the Club’s staff.

After 551 matches, Roby played his final match in October 2023, finishing with an astonishing six Super League championships, four Challenge Cups, eight League Leaders’ Shields, and two World Club titles to his name.

Widely regarded as ‘The Greatest Of All Time’, the 38-year-old has proudly served club and country with distinction, and is one of the most highly respected rugby league players in history.

Roby’s new role will see him continue to be closely linked with the First Team playing squad as part of Paul Wellens’ coaching staff, but he will also be linking up with many other areas of the Club in his working capacity.

Speaking about the news Roby told “First and foremost I’m another coach around the place to help with Paul Wellens, Laurent Frayssinous, Matty Smith, and the other coaching staff. I’ll be taking the lead on the things we do as a team that deal with our values, our culture, and the leadership aspect of that.

“I’ll be mentoring some of the players to a degree, and from a performance mindset, I’ll be doing individual one-on-one coaching where we will focus on people as an individual, trying to just squeeze a little bit more out of them if we can by a different approach.”

Roby was not short on offers at all for the next chapter of his life off the field as a player, but continuing to be a key man at the Saints was a significant draw.

“St.Helens is home for me and I’ve had a very lucky 20-year career, come to the end of that, and it is a little bit scary at times. You think about what’s next and what to go into and I explored a lot of different possibilities and opportunities but in the end, this role became available. To stay in the environment that I know, I’m very familiar with all the staff, and all the players, it’s a very easy transition for me as a retiring player.

“But this is also a role that I’m really passionate about. It’s a role where I really want to add value and make a positive difference. I’m ambitious, just like I was as a player, I’m ambitious to succeed in this new role.

“I’m very open to learning, I know that I’ve got a lot of sort of upskilling to do and things that I’ll learn on the go or on the job but I’m welcoming that challenge and embracing it. The challenge of working with these professional athletes day in and day out, trying to squeeze a little bit more out of them, that extra percent, it really excites me.”

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The strong culture around the entire club of St.Helens is vital in the eyes of James Roby, who has been one of the biggest driving forces behind its success.

As the First Team prepares for Betfred Super League 2024 that strong culture remains and our Leadership, Culture & Performance Coach feels the hunger for more success within the playing group.

“We’ve got a very strong and stable culture that has been developed over many, many years and if you look at our trophy cabinet, this club is built on success. It’s built on hard work, and honesty, there are a lot of attributes that go into it and good people make good cultures. Part of my job will be to maintain that.”

Mike Rush, CEO of St.Helens R.F.C. added: “It’s been in the works for a long time. There is no doubting how much James Roby loves St.Helens and to have him continue to be part of the Club and look to improve our players on and off the field is an ideal fit.

“There were several avenues that James could have chosen after finishing his playing career, so we’re delighted to keep him. The role will not be limited to the First Team, James’ work will cover all areas of the Club, and I am more than sure his work will be highly beneficial for the Saints.”

Head Coach Paul Wellens shared his delight about Roby continuing to be part of the Saints saying: “James is one of the most respected people to ever to be part of our Club, so for him to continue to be involved with us, with the aim to improve our players as both individuals and members of our playing team.”

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