Roby set to return for Giants clash

James Roby
James Roby

ST Helens hooker James Roby is poised to return to action next week after two months out with an ankle injury.

The England international has been sorely missed by Saints, who are a lowly - by their standards - eighth in Super League.

The 27-year-old’s hopes of returning in last weekend’s Magic Weekend clash against Warrington in Manchester were put on hold due to illness but he should now feature at Huddersfield on Monday.

Coach Nathan Brown said: “The injury is fine. He could have played last week but for a virus.

“We’ve gone through a lot pain in the past seven or eight weeks and it wasn’t worth the risk.

“You’ve arguably got your best player fit again, you don’t want to put him in a situation where you are opening him up for more injury.

“But he’s been training and as you’d expect the team looks better with him in there.

“He is one of the best players in the world in an important position, so when you don’t have him other people do suffer.

“Other players have had to adjust to playing without him because he is so effective at what he does.

“That is the sign of a high-quality player - when they are out, other people suffer around him.”

Captain Paul Wellens is also fit after a knock but half-back Lance Hohaia is doubtful with a dead leg.

Meanwhile Saints have moved to ease their half-back problems by signing Australian Luke Walsh from Penrith Panthers for the start of next season.

Brown has tried a number of different combinations in the halves this season due to injuries and Lee Gaskell’s loan move to Salford.

Walsh, who has signed a two-year contract with the option to extend for a further season, will bring considerable experience and expertise.

The 26-year-old has made 107 appearances in Australia’s elite NRL competition since making his debut for Newcastle Knights in 2007.

He moved to Penrith in 2009 and has scored 274 points at first-grade level.

He is also an adept goalkicker having landed 34 attempts and a drop goal this season alone.

Brown said: “He is a great signing for the club. There is no doubt he will be one of the best players in the competition.

“He’s what this club needs, we need that type of player.

“He’s important for us to improve. He controls the game well and kicks the ball very well. That is one of the most important things in the game.

“He’ll complement the players we have at this club.

“He may not have been the right signing for other clubs but he’ll definitely help St Helens.”