NEW Saints captain James Roby will look to lead by example, describing his new role as the “pinnacle” of his achievements at the club.

Roby was named captain by coach Justin Holbrook last week as he takes the armband from Jon Wilkin after three years.

A renowned on-field leader, the prolific hooker will also make his 400th club appearance in Friday’s opener against Castleford.

And he is raring to go for the new campaign and says not much will change in his approach to the game.

On his appointment, Roby said: “I was made up, being a local lad and being here my whole career to be made captain is a great honour.

“I may be a little bit (more vocal) but not that much is going to change, especially on the pitch.

“We’ve all got our own jobs to do and if we all do that collectively it’ll help us but obviously I’ve got more responsibility on and off the field.”

He added: “Being the captain is the pinnacle of what I can achieve at St Helens and I’d like to think I’ve worked my career towards this point.

“Now I suppose the only thing to add the icing on the cake would be to win some trophies.

“As captain I couldn’t think of anything better than to walk the team out at Wembley or Old Trafford.”

Roby says that the team has enjoyed its first pre-season under Holbrook, adding that greater emphasis has been placed on ball handling.

“We’ve done a little bit more ball in hand stuff,” he added.

“In the past we’ve done Formby beach and things like that.

“This year from what the lads have been saying it’s been a lot more rugby-based stuff and a lot more running as well. It’s been good.

“It was a good tough game (against Leigh). It did what it’s there to do.

“It gave us a good practice and to get used to full contact. Everyone needs that to get the timings right.

“And because it was such a close game, it gave us a little bit of a kick up the backside that we might need."

And Roby believes the challenge of a visitor from last season’s Grand Finalists, who ended Saints’ 2017 in heart-breaking fashion last September, is the perfect way to start the campaign.

“I’d much rather play a team like Cas, they had such a great year and were the best attacking team," he said.

“We’ll obviously have to be on our A game and you’ve got to hit the ground running from day one. We’re all excited.

“It’s that nervous excitement and we just want to get on with it.”

* Here's what Ben Barba has to say about James Roby as the new Saints captain: