Roby delighted with playing Wigan for his testimonial match

St Helens Star: James Roby on England duty James Roby on England duty

SAINTS hooker James Roby has pulled out a plum tie for his testimonial match – a clash with reigning champions Wigan at Langtree Park.

The fixture on January 31 will be the jewel in the crown for the dynamic number nine’s benefit year and will draw a big crowd – being both clubs' final hit-out before the Super League season starts.

The announcement was the icing on the cake for Roby, in a week in which he declared that he was staying with his hometown club until the end of 2018 after signing a four year extension to his contract.

Roby said: “I am made up with the game – previous testimonials have not really got an opposition like Wigan so I am really pleased.

“When I phoned around a few clubs to find out who was available it was a stroke of luck that Wigan were the only ones – and that fell into place for me.

“I owe a big thanks to Eamonn and Mike Rush for letting it happen and now I am really looking forward to it.”

Although Saints will four friendly matches in the off-season, two of those will feature fringe and junior players.

The first team will warm-up against Batley, but it is the clash with Wigan that will really blast off the cobwebs. It will also give fans a great chance to get a glimpse of new signings, including Mose Masoe, Kyle Amor and Luke Walsh.

“We play Batley the week before, but Nathan Brown said he would like to play a strong opposition before the season starts to give you an understanding of where you are up to.

“It is going to be a tough game – going up against the champions is no better test.

“It is the old derby and is never really a friendly because all the fans will get behind their sides and that rivalry will be there.

“Both teams will be at full strength because this will be the last proper friendly before the season starts.

“It will be a good game to see a lot of the new faces,” Roby said.

After having a glut of Saints v Wigan games in 2011-12, due to Magic, Challenge Cup and play-off clashes, the old rivals played each other just twice last term.

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