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Roby named in England squad

James Roby
James Roby
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ST Helens hooker James Roby will be aiming to make up for lost time after being named in England coach Steve McNamara’s squad for the mid-season clash with the Exiles.

The 27-year-old was expected to miss the International Origin match at Warrington on Friday week after being out for almost three months with a foot injury.

He made his comeback as a substitute in Saints’ 25-16 defeat at Huddersfield on Monday and was yesterday named in McNamara’s 20-man squad.

Roby, who missed the 2012 autumn internationals at his own request so that he could enjoy a first break in 10 years, got his chance of a quick return to the international stage when rival Michael McIlorum was forced to undergo knee surgery which will keep him out of action for up to a month.

Roby, who won the last of his 18 England caps in the 2011 Four Nations Series, is hoping his enforced lay-off will pay dividends going into the World Cup.

“I’ve been very lucky as a professional rugby league player to go 10 years until my first operation,” he said.

“I think my longest lay-off was three weeks.

“I treated it as a bit of a break to be honest and hopefully it will do me good at the end of the year if I’m involved in the World Cup.

“It’s a bit ironic that last season was the first time I decided to have a break from internationals but hopefully I can use this as a positive.”

Huddersfield second rower Brett Ferres was the only player chosen by McNamara from outside his 30-strong elite training squad while Leeds full-back Zak Hardaker is set to take over at centre from his injured club-mate Kallum Watkins.

England squad: R Burrow (Leeds), J Charnley (Wigan), R Chase (Castleford), E Crabtree (Huddersfield), L Cudjoe (Huddersfield), G Ellis (Hull), L Farrell (Wigan), B Ferres (Huddersfield), R Hall (Leeds), Z Hardaker (Leeds), C Hill (Warrington), J Jones-Buchanan (Leeds), A Morley (Warrington), L Mossop (Wigan), R Myler (Warrington), S O’Loughlin (Wigan), J Roby (St Helens), K Sinfield (Leeds, capt), S Tomkins (Wigan), B Westwood (Warrington).