Brown: Robes is so good it’s boring

James Roby is nominated for the Steve Prescott Man of Steel award
James Roby is nominated for the Steve Prescott Man of Steel award

Saints star James Roby is so good it’s boring, according to his coach Nathan Brown and teammate Kyle Amor.

The 28-year-old hooker has seen his sparkling recent form rewarded with another Man Of Steel nomination.

He first claimed the coveted prize in 2007.

Brown said: “He’s been brilliant. I think Wello summed it up best - people probably take him for granted because he’s so good and so consistent.

“In fact people are probably bored watching him do it, I suppose, but I think he’s put the debate about who the best English hooker is to bed in the last six weeks.

“I’m not taking anything away from the other ones, either, who are good players, but Robes is the stand-out.

“Any hooker that can make 65 tackles a game and have a massive influence in attack is incredible.

“We’re very, very fortunate to have him and that’s why the chairman did what he did to keep him away from the NRL.”

Amor added: “Playing alongside Robes is phenomenal. I remember playing against him when I was at Wakefield and he used to terrorise us. He was always the one player you didn’t like playing against so to have him on our team is great.

“He’s so smart and so quick and just doesn’t stop. But because he’s so good week in week out everyone seems to be kind of bored of it. He doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves.

“Even when he has an average game it would still rank as a great game for any other nine in the competition. To have him get through 60-plus tackles a few weeks in a row, and the metres he makes, it’s brilliant to have in your side.

“He thoroughly deserves to be there and I’d be delighted for him if he were to win that accolade again.”

Roby has been nominated on a short-list of four for the coveted Steve Prescott Man of Steel award - the top individual accolade in the 13 a side code.

He is joined by Castleford Tigers no. 9 Daryl Clark, Warrington Wolves prop Chris Hill and Leeds Rhinos prop Jamie Peacock.

It is the first time in the award’s history four players have been short-listed.

Roby has once again led from the front, guiding his St Helens team to the League Leaders title.

He consistently impresses and, like Peacock, he will be looking to win the prestigious award for the second time in his career.

Clark has enjoyed an impressive year with Cas, helping them achieve their most successful season in the Super League era.

The young hooker has been influential in his role and secured his place as one of the sport’s promising young talent.

Hill is short-listed for the first time following an outstanding season for the Wolves. The England prop has been a dominant figure for Warrington in a hard fought season which sees them currently 80 minutes away from a place in the 2014 Grand Final at Old Trafford.

Veteran Peacock has been in imperious form for Leeds Rhinos in his 15th Super League season. Peacock’s consistency is highlighted by being short-listed for the award for the last two consecutive years and is looking to become only the fourth player to win a second Man of Steel Award.

The Steve Prescott Man of Steel is chosen by a poll of every Super League player, the results of which are considered by a specially-convened panel featuring a former Man of Steel, representatives from the players’ union and one representative each from the written and broadcast media.

The presence of four players on the short-list reflects the players’ vote and the expert views of the panel.

The Man of Steel has been presented at the end of every season since 1977 and this year has been renamed in memory of Steve Prescott, one of rugby league’s most respected players who passed away 12 months ago after a long and courageous battle against a rare form of stomach cancer.

The winner will be named at a gala dinner hosted at The Point, the Old Trafford home of Lancashire Cricket Club, on Wednesday, October 8, where a number of other prestigious Super League awards will be presented, including Coach of the Year and Young Player of the Year.

The three nominees for the coveted 2014 First Utility Super League Young Player of the Year also includes Clark, as well as Wigan Warriors winger Dan Sarginson and Leeds Rhinos stand-off Liam Sutcliffe.