St Helens captain James Roby has announced his retirement from international rugby league with England (7/1 to win World Cup), admitting the postponement of the World Cup until 2022 makes the tournament “a year too far”.
Roby had hoped to play in the World Cup that was originally scheduled to take place on home soil later this year, but the decision to postpone the competition by 12 months has seemingly forced his hand.
“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,” Roby told his club’s website.
“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 and the boys next year, and there’s no reason why they can’t go all the way.”
Roby made 31 appearances for England in total, featuring in three World Cups, while he was also capped seven times by Great Britain.
The 35-year-old has already confirmed he will be extending his club career with St Helens after last month signing a new one-year contract to see him through until the end of the 2022 season.
The entirety of Roby’s club career has been spent with Saints and he has amassed nearly 500 appearances since making his debut in 2004.
The hooker is currently aiming to lead Kristian Woolf’s side to a third successive Betfred Super League Grand Final success this season (St Helens 10/11 to win Grand Final).
Saints finished second in the regular season standings and will face either Warrington Wolves or Hull KR in the playoff semi-finals on October 1, with those two teams set to meet in Friday’s Elimination playoffs at the Halliwell Jones Stadium (Warrington 2/13, Hull KR 9/2, Tie 22/1 – Match Winner 80 Mins).