James Roby says St Helens will show Penrith the respect they deserve in the World Club Challenge, but wants his side to show the world how good they really are.
The Super League champions will face their NRL counterparts in the World Club Challenge on February 18 in a showdown to determine the world’s best club side.
Saints have won the last four Super League titles, whilst the Panthers are back-to-back NRL champions.
“Due to Covid it has not been able to go ahead since 2020 but it’s a great reward for us as a group to go to Australia,” Roby said.
“Normally, you only get the chance when you are playing internationals so for a club to go down there and take on the best Australia have got, it’s a really good challenge for us and one we are looking forward to.
“We are confident in our ability. We will give them all the respect they deserve, we know they are a quality team and have won it back-to-back but we are also coming on the back of winning it four years in a row and we know what we’re capable of on our day too.
“We’ll go there confident in our own ability and be ready for a really tough game.”
James Roby not regretting his retirement U-turn
The legendary hooker is currently in his 20th pre-season as a professional rugby league player.
Roby signed a new one-year contract extension with his hometown club last year to play on in 2023.
“Pre-season the weather isn’t the best at times or you get up and the weather depresses you a bit, but I’m really enjoying it,” Roby laughed.
“It’s a similar group as we’ve had for the last few years. We get along really well and have had a really good time and it’s a new challenge working with Paul, buying into his ideas and working hard to prepare the best we can for the games to start.”
Heading to a land Down Under
St Helens’ trip to Australia will be the last time Roby plays Down Under as a player.
“It’s another challenge and another great experience as a rugby league player,” the former Great Britain and England international added.
“I suppose not many British teams get the chance to go Down Under and challenge the Australian teams so it is great for me personally because I’m going to hang up the boots (at the end of the year) but it’s also great for the club as a whole.
“It’s great for the town of St Helens to be out there in the limelight again and get the club out there as a brand and challenging the Australian teams.”
Paul Wellens’ side will face St George Illawarra Dragons the week before they face the Panthers in the World Club Challenge showdown.