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James Roby expects to thrive off the back of Saints' big pack go-forward
FEEDING off the quick heels of big men Kyle Amor and Mose Masoe will be manna from heaven for Saints’ fleet-footed dummy half James Roby.
The nippy England hooker believes that the bolstering of the Saints pack, which gives it the sort of strength it has lacked since the 2006 team began to break up, will provide him with the perfect platform to work off in 2014.
And added to that Roby, who last week committed to seeing out the rest of his career with his hometown club, expressed his excitement at forming a link-up with the club’s first hard-nosed, out-and-out scrum half since Sean Long left – Luke Walsh.
Roby, who is currently enjoying a short off-season after being on England duty all autumn, said: “We will have a massive pack next year and personally I hope that this will make my job a little easier, playing off the back of the work of some of those big lads.
“All the signings we have made have definitely strengthened the squad and covered all bases.
“We have back up in every position.
“Added to that we have a lot of young lads who made their debuts last year and really came of age and have had another year and off-season to progress.
“All the new signings will want to make their mark.”
A lot of attention will focus on Walsh, who signed off with Penrith in the NRL in fine form.
Walsh’s understanding with Roby will be key to formulating Saints’ attacking spine in the year ahead.
And Roby feels that this will give the club, that has been so near and yet so far from silverware for the past five seasons, the missing ingredient.
“It (his signing) was vital – we have been missing an out and out scrum half for a while and last year Wilko and Wello had to fill in at the halves.
“Although they did a tremendous job when asked, at the end of the day they are not natural halves and that is what we have been missing.
“We have signed Luke and from all the reports I have heard he has been fantastic for Penrith.
“He has a great kicking game and he could be the piece of the jigsaw we have been missing for the past few years and hopefully he will have a big impact on us next year with his organisational and communication skills,” he said.