If he’s fit he will play: Sam Tomkins backs James Roby World Cup U-turn

James Roby Sam Tomkins England SWpix
Photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix

England captain Sam Tomkins believes James Roby will be in the team for this autumn’s World Cup because the temptation to play will just be too big.

Roby announced his retirement from international rugby league last year. However, he has been the subject of frenzied speculation over reversing that decision since England assistant coach Paul Wellens admitted on the Love Rugby League podcast that the veteran remained in the frame.

And speaking on the latest episode, Tomkins has exclusively revealed that he expects the St Helens hooker to come out of international retirement to be boss Shaun Wane’s starting hooker.

“I think Shaun is ringing him twice a day asking if he’s available,” Tomkins jokingly told Love Rugby League.

“Personally, I think if he is fit he will play. I just think the temptation will be too big.

“I only say that from how I would be. If I was getting picked to play in a World Cup, it wouldn’t matter how I was feeling or what stage I was at in my career, if I was retiring or not, I would be playing.”

READ MORE: Sam Tomkins on being hated: I think Leeds fans started it but it could have been me

Tomkins on James Roby: He is ultra-competitive and ultra-consistent

Tomkins says England will be in good hands regardless of Roby’s decision, with his Dragons and former Wigan team-mate Michael McIlorum back in the mix under Wane. But it is Roby, Super League’s all-time record appearance maker, who remains the number one option.

“Roby is a competitor which has put him ahead of anybody else for a long, long time,” Tomkins added.

“He is ultra-competitive and ultra-consistent so I can’t see why he wouldn’t play. But if he doesn’t, we have other great nines who would do a job. If he plays then brilliant, if not we have other people.

“Shaun is very clear with what he wants from every player. So, we have to produce it at club level week in, week out or you are not in the team. Shaun is a very easy coach to play for, there is no guesswork. If people are picked or not picked they know exactly why.”

PODCAST: Sam Tomkins on what Catalans bring to Super League, neighbour Shaun Edwards & leading England at World Cup

FOLLOW: Keep up with all the latest on the Love Rugby League mobile app and podcast

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