James Roby contract extension raises key Kristian Woolf question amid uncertain St Helens future

Kristian Woolf is expected to leave St Helens at the end of the campaign but James Roby’s new contract could change things.

<p>James Roby of St Helens holds the Grand Final Trophy with Kristian Woolf, Head Coach after victory in the Betfred Super League Grand Final match between Catalans Dragons and St Helens at Old Trafford on October 09, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)</p>

James Roby of St Helens holds the Grand Final Trophy with Kristian Woolf, Head Coach after victory in the Betfred Super League Grand Final match between Catalans Dragons and St Helens at Old Trafford on October 09, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

James Roby’s decision to extend his contract at St Helens until the end of the 2023 season raises another question about the immediate future of his boss Kristian Woolf.

It is anticipated that the 47-year-old Queenslander, who has been the target of one or two NRL clubs during the past few months, will return home at the end of the current campaign.

But all Saints fans are hoping he will follow in skipper Roby’s footsteps and remain at the club for at least another year.

Only he and his family and close friends probably know the answer to the million-dollar question but it is expected to be made public in the not-too-distant future. and everyone at the Totally Wicked Stadium is waiting with bated breath to know the outcome.

Woolf has never shied from the fact that he has loved his time in St Helens - something which will remain in his memory for the rest of his career and beyond - but he is at the crossroads of an already successful time in the sport and what lies ahead will be at the forefront of his thoughts. Turning to Roby’s decision to postpone his retirement for another 12 months, I, like all St Helens’ fans, can only admire his bravery, especially as he will reach his 37th birthday in November.

He says he is still as fit as a fiddle and will be able to continue to hold down a first-team spot despite having already played more than 500 games for his hometown club. But let’s hope it is not one bridge too far and he bows out on a crest of a wave at the conclusion of the 2023 campaign.