Roby rules out England retirement

James RobySt Helens star James Roby insists he has no intention of retiring from international duty despite missing this year’s Four Nations Series (England 10/1 – Four Nations – Tournament Outright).

Roby is preparing for Saturday’s Grand Final, where St Helens will face Wigan Warriors, but he has made himself unavailable for England duty later this month, with Steve McNamara’s men set to head to Australia and New Zealand for the Four Nations Series.

The Saints star had ankle surgery last year and feels he needs a period of extended rest after the Old Trafford showpiece this weekend to allow his injuries to completely heal ahead of the 2015 Super League campaign.

Uncapped hookers Daryl Clark and Josh Hodgson have been called up by England coach McNamara in the absence of Roby and Wigan’s Michael McIlorum, who will also miss the Four Nations series.

Roby has wished Hodgson and Clark well ahead of this year’s internationals, but he warned the duo he will seek to reclaim his place in the England side and he is already thinking about the 2017 World Cup.

“I’ve played in the last two World Cups so I know what a great occasion they are and, if I’m still playing well when the next one comes around, I’ll definitely put my hand up for it,” said Roby.

“I’ll take it each year as it comes. Next year there’s three Tests against New Zealand and hopefully I can be involved in them.

“I’ve explained everything to Steve and he fully understands it. I’m not retiring, I’m just missing this year.

“I had both ankles operated on last year and I’ve just been getting a little bit of aggro. Obviously I’ve been doing enough to get through the season no problem but the time is right to get them sorted.

“I’ll get the game [Saturday’s Grand Final] out of the way and we’ll sit down with the specialist and decide one way or the other. It’s not 100% definite that I’m having surgery yet but that’s an option.

“I think it’s great that Daryl Clark and Josh Hodgson get the chance to go on tour. They’ve not played for England before so hopefully they will take their opportunities with both hands. I really wish them well.”

St Helens are 2/1 to beat Wigan at Old Trafford on Saturday or 10/11 with a +8 handicap.

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