Roby hoping to follow in Murphy's and Cunningham's footsteps

James Roby
James Roby

James Roby will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow St Helens-born sporting legends who have hoisted the iconic Rugby League Challenge Cup sky-high to celebrate a momentous victory for their home-town club.


Alex Murphy and Keiron Cunningham have already savoured that magical moment - and Roby now hopes to join an elite band.

The club skipper - the only surviving member of the 2008 team which defeated Hull FC to record a hat-trick of cup final success - said: ''Had anyone had told me then that we wouldn't reach the final again until 2019, I would not have believed it.''

Hooker Roby - a three-times Challenge Cup winner - said:'' I've nothing but fond memories of playing at Wembley where I was able to score the first try at the new-look stadium in our 30-6 win over the Catalans Dragons in 2007.

''We took a trip to Wembley in those days for granted but I'm just relieved we are back there again after such a long wait.''

The 33-year-old one club man went on: “I am proud to be a local lad and given the honour and privilege of leading the team out as captain
in such a huge game.

''It has been a long time since we graced Wembley but everyone - staff, players and fans - are all buzzing.

“Living in the town, I bump into many people who tell me in an exciting manner: 'I have got my ticket for Wembley.'

''Our fans simply cannot wait for Saturday. They have already played a big part in our success so far and also given the town a massive
boost.''

Saints are the bookies' favourites but fully aware that in a sudden-death high octane fixture against Warrington Wolves anything can happen and know that climbing the final fence will be more difficult than the three hurdles they have negotiated so far in this year's competition.

''We have a fierce rivalry with Warrington and the lads will be up for it, don’t worry about that. We are going to Wembley, which is fantastic, but at the back of my mind we are going there for a reason, we are not just going there to make up the numbers.”

Roby will also have a crucial role to play in both the build up and the game itself.

He is the only member of the Saints' relatively young squad with Challenge Cup Final experience, unlike rivals Warrington Wolves who have several players with recent big games under their belts and will need to transmit his own well known ice-cool and unflappable approach to the sport to his team-mates and hope it helps to settle any nerves on the day.

The skipper will also have the perfect ally in the build up, apart from head coach Justin Holbrook and his recently-appointed no. 2
Richard Marshall.

Assistant coach Paul Wellens featured in five Challenge Cup Final victories during his playing days at the club and there is probably no one better equipped to keep the players' feet firmly on the ground.