Roby facing fitness battle

James Roby
James Roby

SAINTS now face an anxious wait to discover whether world class hooker James Roby will be fit for one of the club’s most prestigious games of the season.

Roby was yesterday (Tuesday) ruled out of Thursday’s First Utility Super League clash with Salford Red Devils at the AJ Bell Stadium after picking up a rib injury in the club’s opening fixture against Hudderfield Giants, possibly jeopardising his chances of facing the Sydney Roosters in the World Club Challenge Series at Langtree Park on February 19.

Head coach Keiron Cunningham said: “Robes’ injury is not too severe - and hopefully it will be a short turn round - but at this stage we will just have to wait and see.

“There is not much you can do with this type of injury as recovery is in the lap of the Gods.”

The England international’s absence at Salford could lead to Theo Fages making his senior debut at hooker, coincidentally against the club he left at the end of last season.

Dominique Peyroux is also sidelined by injury but there is still no place for Travis Burns, while young Welshman Calvin Wellington and Morgan Knowles are included in the19-man squad..

Saints will be hoping to build on their 30-16 victory over Huddersfield and condemn the Mancunians to their second successive defeat, but Cunningham is expecting a thorough examination.

He said: “Salford are a tough and dogged side.

“I’ve watched their game against Hull which they lost 42-20 and the final score didn’t do them justice.

“Hull were dominant in certain areas but Salford were not afraid to play a bit of rugby.”

Prop Kyle Amor, who was the club’s top metre maker on the opening day of the 2016 campaign, said: “We will give Salford the respect they deserve and make sure we are also mentally and physically prepared.”

Keiron Cunningham will select his 17 from:

2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift, 7. Luke Walsh, 8. Alex Walmsley, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Atelea Vea, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook. 14. Lama Tasi, 15. Greg Richards, 16. Andre Savelio, 17. Luke Thompson, 19. Theo Fages, 20. Joe Greenwood, 22. Jack Owens, 28. Morgan Knowles, 30. Calvin Wellington.

The game kicks off at 8pm.