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James Roby to lead Saints side out as captain on his 400th appearance

James Roby is Saints' new captain
James Roby is Saints' new captain
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New skipper James Roby, who will lead out the side on his 400th appearance, is also demanding more consistency from a team already being tipped as title contenders along side Friday rivals and neighbours Wigan Warriors.

“We are fully aware we need to make a better start than 12 months ago when we were far from consistent,” said Roby.

“It vital we finish in one of the top four spots but we will be taking nothing for granted and the Tigers, who many people felt were the best team in the competition last season without winning any silverware, will give us an early test of our credentials.”

At the same time Daryl Powell’s outfit have an abysmal record when crossing the Pennines to face Saints whether at the old Knowsley Road stadium, Anfield or Widnes.

They haven’t won on an away league match against St Helens since 1990 - the year Margaret Thacher quit as prime minister.

The match itself will be dedicated in the memory of former St Helens legend Tom Van Vollenhoven.

Tom’s widow Leonie has jetted-in from South Africa to present the match ball as the great winger did in 2012 when the club’s new stadium opened.

She will be accompanied by her daughter, Lyne, and granddaughter Kirsty

The match day programme cover will also be dedicated to the legendary winger, too, with a number of tributes inside, including one from his former coach Joe Coan.

There will also be a minute’s applause before the game which kicks off at 7.45pm.