James Roby announces international retirement

Drew Darbyshire
James Roby playing for England against Australia

St Helens captain James Roby has announced his retirement from international rugby league with immediate effect.

The 35-year-old made his international debut for Great Britain in 2006 and went on to win 43 caps in total for Great Britain and England.

Roby says the postponement of the World Cup until autumn 2022 convinced him that the time was right to bring his international career to a close.

He said: “I was hoping to be selected for RLWC2021 this autumn and taking absolutely nothing for granted, but 2022 is a year too far. Time waits for no man.

“I’ve had some incredible experiences and standing for the national anthem as an England or Great Britain player is something I’ll never forget. I’ll be supporting Shaun (Wane) and the boys next year, and there’s no reason why they can’t go all the way.”

England coach Shaun Wane said: “I’ve been a long-time admirer of James and I’m gutted that I never got the chance to coach him. He’d have played in the World Cup had the tournament gone ahead this year, but I understand the reason for his decision.

“James is one of those players who consistently delivers exactly what coaches want and he very rarely gets it wrong. He’s a great number nine, which is why fellow professionals like (former England captain) Sean O’Loughlin rave about him. He’s a legend.”

Roby will play his 19th and final season for hometown club St Helens in 2022, having made more than 500 career appearances for club and country.

He is a four-time Super League Grand Final winner, a four-time Challenge Cup winner, a World Club Challenge winner, Man of Steel winner and he has also been named in the Super League Dream Team six times.