Roby ready for Kiwi test

James Roby
James Roby
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James Roby is confident that England will be the complete package when they face holders New Zealand in Saturday’s must-see Rugby League World Cup 2013 semi-final at Wembley.

England have shown tantalising glimpses of their best form in reaching the last four of the 14-nation tournament but Roby, one of the most experienced players in coach Steve McNamara’s squad, has no doubts the hosts have what it takes to meet the challenge posed by the Kiwis.

“We haven’t been too far off in our last four games but we haven’t strung together a full 80-minute performance and that is definitely what we need to do on Saturday,” said the hooker.

“We know that we are capable of better than what we have shown, so it is quite frustrating that we are not doing it on the day.

“It will be as tough a test as we have had so far and we know we need to be at the top of our game: I am certain we will be ready.

“Everyone has worked really hard to get to where we are now and there’s a lot of hunger within the camp.

“The Kiwis are possibly the form team of the tournament but I think we are at least equal to them. On our day we can turn anyone over.

“We need to prepare as best we can this week and if we give a true account of ourselves over the full match then we have got every chance.”

More than 65,000 tickets have been sold for the ‘Big Hit’ double header at Wembley Stadium, which takes place a week before the final in front of a capacity Old Trafford crowd, and Roby has been deeply impressed by the success of RLWC2013.

“The tournament has been fantastic,” said Roby. “The games have been very competitive and very well attended.

“In areas where you wouldn’t expect to get as many people watching you have had full stadiums and they have been for nations outside of the home countries so it is great that the fans have been backing some of the other teams.

“It has taken Rugby League to new parts of the country and hopefully that can bear fruit in a few years’ time with more young kids playing the sport.

“In terms of increasing the profile amongst other sports I think it has been very successful.”