As England coach Steve McNamara plots New Zealand’s downfall in this autumn’s Test series, James Roby has one message: “I’m available.”
The Saints No. 9 will find out on Sunday if he is in McNamara’s squad – and has already laid down an impressive application with a strong season which has included a place in the 2015 Dream Team.
Hopefully I’ll be selected this year and if I’m lucky enough to pull on that England shirt again it will be a massive honourJames Roby
And having missed last year’s Four Nations campaign Down Under – Roby is desperate to have another go at the Kiwis following the last-second heartache of the 2013 World Cup semi-final which he was involved in.
“I will be available for selection,” he said.
“Hopefully I’ll be selected this year and if I’m lucky enough to pull on that England shirt again it will be a massive honour.”
Roby has 21 England appearances to his name to go with seven for Great Britain, and despite the disappointment in losing out to Australia and New Zealand last year, says England have made strides in his absence.
“There’s been plenty of progress on the field while I’ve been away and I can’t wait to hopefully be back involved and be part of it again,” he said.
“Missing out last time due to the operation was kind of bittersweet for me.
“I wanted to be out there, I wanted to be playing but at the same time I think I needed the break and the rest did me good.”
Roby faces competition for the England spot from Wigan’s Micky McIlorum and Canberra Raiders’ Josh Hodgson, but the Saints man’s statistics would suggest he will be penned into the squad.
Not that Roby pays attention to facts and figures.
“Playing 80 minutes is something I’ve just got used to,” he said.
“I understand that I tend to make more tackles than other people but it’s not as if I’m running around the field like a nutter to try and tackle everyone.
“I’m not one to try and chase statistics. It’s just part of my job which people seem to pick up on but I just try
to concentrate on my own game.
“If someone runs at me and I’m in a situation where I’ve got to make a tackle then I’ll do it.
“It’s just what I do and I’d love to do it for England again.”
England play against France at leigh Sports Village on October 24 before beginning their Test Series against New Zealand on November 1at Hull’s KC Stadium.