Kristian Woolf hails James Roby as 500 game milestone for Saints ‘may never be seen again’

At 36-years-old the Saint Helens skipper is still an elite player in the game.

<p>James Roby of St Helens during a Betfred Super League match. Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images</p>

James Roby of St Helens during a Betfred Super League match. Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Kristian Woolf didn’t know James Roby on a day-to-day basis until the Aussie boss arrived at the Totally Wicked Stadium before the start of the 2020 season, but his thoughts were spot on this week when he reflected on the magical milestone the club skipper will achieve at Leeds on Friday night.

It will be the 36-year-old’s 500 appearance in the club’s colours of his hometown club and the pending landmark led to Woolf admitting: “It will be an unbelievable achievement and to be honest we may never see it again.”

The 46-year-old boss added: “It is a real credit to him as both a person and player, as well as the hunger and drive he has sustained for so long a period.

“He is an elite player in the game but so humble and level headed and takes everything in his stride. Neither will he want any fuss over his achievement and will simply get on with the job for the benefit of his team-mates.’’

Having had the privilege of watching the former Blackbrook youngster many times from the confines of the press box since he made a winning debut against neighbours Widnes Vikings on March 19, 2004, I can say in all honesty I ‘ve never seen him play a well below-par game.

He has been a model of consistency year-in and year-out and if he hangs-up his boots, as planned, at the end of the current campaign he will be a hell of an act to replace.

No one is irreplaceable, but good luck to Joey Lussick, who is being groomed as his successor.

Betfred Challenge Cup quarter-finals on TV

Arguably the headline tie of the Betfred Challenge Cup quarter-final round is in Perpignan as defending champions Saints tackle Catalans Dragons, with the clash being screened by BBC 1 at 2.30pm on Saturday, April 9.

On Sunday, April 10, Wigan’s visit to Wakefield will be shown on BBC , with a 2.30pm kick-off.

Premier Sports will also show two quarter-final matches, both all-Yorkshire affairs.

The cup weekend starts on Premier with Hull Kingston Rovers hosting Castleford Tigers on Friday, April 8, at 7.45pm.

The following day they will also broadcast Hull FC’s trip to Huddersfield Giants, with a 5pm kick-off.