James Roby looking forward to Daryl Clark battle

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

St Helens skipper James Roby is relishing his head to head duel with Warrington hooker Daryl Clark in Friday night’s top of the table clash.

Roby, 33, is currently joint top with Wolves stand-off Blake Austin at the top of the Super League Man of Steel charts with 12 points, while Clark has seven points.

They will also be going head-to-head for a Great Britain jumper at the end of the year.

Roby said: “I’m looking forward to it.

“As players you want to play in these games where we hopefully sell out the stadium and it’s real hostile crowd, everything is on the line.

“There’s a lot of pressure on the game and I think it brings the best out in a lot of players.

“Daryl is a fantastic player, I really rate him as a player and I got to know him a little bit off the field as well, but come Friday night we will be trying to out do each other and we will be doing what we need to do on the pitch.

“He’s obviously similar to myself, plays off quick play the balls and if there’s anything quick he’s running, he’s illusive, he’s strong, he’s got skill and he’s a very dangerous player.

“We know we’re going to have to do a job on him, but at the same time I’ll be trying to do the same for my team and I’m sure we will have a good battle against each other.”

Warrington leap-frogged St Helens at the top of the table last weekend after Saints went down in Perpignan against Catalans.

That was their first defeat of the season, enabling the Wolves to stay top on points difference after they had pulled level on points with a win over London the previous night.

Roby added: “We were disappointed to lose the game but it wasn’t all doom and gloom, it wasn’t as if we got hammered, it was a very close game.

“We probably could have been smarter at times and took our chances a bit better than we did.

“But the best thing about it is we’ve got such a big game on Friday, we want to change that around straight away.”

It will be the 43rd time that Roby has gone up against Warrington during his illustrious career, tasting victory on 31 occasions.

In 16 games against Clark, including four when the Warrington hooker was at Castleford, Roby has tasted defeat just four times.