Simmons in praise of remarkable Roby

Saints Player James Roby
Saints Player James Roby
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DOWN-to-earth James Roby isn’t the kind of player who will allow being dubbed “one of the best No.9s in the world” to prey on his mind.

Roby, who has three winners’ medals to his name, will have already dismissed the praise from his thoughts and instead be totally focused on Sunday’s Carnegie Challenge Cup quarter-final home tie against Hull KR.

The accolade of being among the best in the business came from his own head coach, Royce Simmons, after Saints’ Mr Consistency produced another sparkling display against the Catalans Dragons on Friday night.

Simmons said: “I didn’t know how good James was untiI I came here. I didn’t know a bloke could be so fit.

“He sets the bar so high and although I haven’t seen the stats, if he didn’t run the ball 180 metres and made 40 to 50 tackles against Catalans, then I will be surprised.

“But the thing everyone forgets is that he sits you on your tail, too.

“His defence is unbelievable – and this is something no one seems to mention very much – but if you look at the big hit and who is in there, it is generally James.”

The coach added: “I believe he is right up there with Cameron Smith and Robbie Farah.

“And giving him some leadership roles this season has made him an even better player.”

Simmons also feels that Roby will now bring more to the international scene than in the past.

He said: “When he plays representative rugby later this year, you’ll see him become more involved and bring the forwards on to the ball a lot more than previously because he is now a better leader.

“Keiron Cunningham has got a statue in the town which is a reflection on what he has done and he is one of the people responsible for James’ rugby league education.

“You learn from the best and now James has taken on that mantle.”