James Roby

Leadership, Culture & Performance Coach

One of the finest to ever grace the sport of rugby league, the all-time leading appearance maker for St.Helens – James Roby has done it all in the Red V.

‘Robes’ learnt from the great Keiron Cunningham to become one of the World’s best hookers. Despite his diminutive stature he plays as if he is six inches taller and twenty kilograms heavier!

His dummy runs lay the platform for the ‘go-forward’ at the club and he has a great turn of pace.

He made his Saints debut in March 2004 aged 18 and his inexorable rise saw him represent Great Britain before his 21st birthday, an achievement made even more remarkable by the fact that he had a low-key junior record.

2007 saw Robes become the country’s best impact player – a feat which continued throughout 2008 and the World Cup.

He took over from Cunningham in 2011 and became the Club’s top metre maker and tackling machine as well as being able to play for 80 minutes – making him the best pound-for-pound player in Super League.

And that still is the case as his eye-watering stats continue to surprise.

60 tackles, 200 metres per game are the norm, not the exception, and he has been unlucky to miss out on the Man of Steel title more than once.

James is a great ambassador for the club as its captain and will continue to be at its helm for years to come.

In January 2019 James signed a new three-year deal to keep him at the club until the end of 2021. Although he was ruled out for a number of weeks due to groin surgery which subsequently meant he missed the Great Britain tour, ‘Mr Consistent’ did play over 20 times and he had the honour of lifting the Super League trophy at Old Trafford as captain, the Club’s first title since 2014 and the start of an incredible era of success.

2020 James did it again, leading Saints to another crown and was even named Harry Sunderland Winner after a Man of the Match display in the Grand Final for a second successive Super League championship in a row. In 2021, our captain continued to lead from the front, guiding Saints to the #ThreePeat and a first Challenge Cup for 13 years at Wembley Stadium.

In 2022, what was supposed to be his final year as a professional player, Roby extended for one more year and for a fourth straight season lifted the Super League trophy in the Grand Final – #FOURmidable.

After confirming 2023 would definitely be his last campaign, Roby further added his legend with a historic World Club Challenge victory over the Penrith Panthers. The victory was seismic given that many had written the Red V off against the back-to-back NRL champions in their own home stadium, but Roby as captain brought home the Club’s third World Title, it what was the first-ever victory by a Super League side in Australia.

On Saturday, 13th May 2023, James Roby took to the field for St.Helens for a 531st time and overtook Kel Coslett’s record for the most club appearances – a record that stood for over 47 years. Roby brought the curtain down on his historic playing career having played for the Saints an incredible 551 times.

On the eve of the Club’s 150th-anniversary of its founding, traditions were broken and James was inducted immediately into the Saints’ Hall Of Fame. With six Super League titles, eight League Leaders’ Shields, four Challenge Cups, and two World Club Challenges, James Roby truly is; The Greatest of All Time. 🐐

In January 2024 it was confirmed that Roby would remain with the Saints in a working capacity and was appointed as Leadership, Culture & Performance Coach with the aim of continuing to improve our players.

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Profile Last updated 2 Feb 24