SAINTS have been handed a massive psychological boost ahead of Saturday night’s World Club Challenge against Sydney Roosters - with James Roby declared fit to play.

The experienced Saints skipper - the only playing member of the last team to win this title back in 2007 - will come straight in at nine after missing the start of the season with a groin injury.

Full back Lachlan Coote, however, won’t make it, and there are still doubts over wing Regan Grace, who came off at Hull FC at half time with a knock.

Saints boss Kristian Woolf is pleased to have his skipper - who combines a phenomenal workrate and steadying influence with vision and crisp distribution dummy half.

Confirming the Grand Final-winning captain will play, Woolf said: “With a guy like James Roby, who has played 450 plus games, and has been a really high level player for a long period of time, we can throw him out where he is comfortable – and that is starting the game.

“I have always known he is a good player, but just being here the last couple of months I’ve seen what a positive influence he has on the other players and the club in general.

“He is a great inclusion for us, particular with it being such a big game.”

Roby’s return comes a week after Tommy Makinson and Morgan Knowles made their first appearances of the season after both underwent off-season shoulder operations.

Alex Walmsley also returned at Hull after being a late cry-off ahead of the Warrington loss.

All four will be a huge bonus as Saints lock on horns with the back-to-back NRL premiers and current World Club Challenge holders.

Although the Roosters, bossed by former Catalans boss Trent Robinson, will be without skipper Boyd Cordner - they still boast some of the biggest names in world rugby league. That challenge is something the Saints coach is relishing.

“They are a world class side and it is a big challenge for us, but we are a very good side as well and so this is one we are right up for,” Woolf said.

Roosters boast quality in the outside backs, behind a big set of forwards that pack a real punch.

Woolf singled out some of the exciting players who expects floating supporters come down to watch play in the flesh -starting at number one.

“A guy like James Tedesco really stands out for Roosters,” he said.

“ He has been considered one of the best players in the NRL and the world for a number of years – if not the best.

“He is certainly an exciting player.

“Then for me there is Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Daniel Tupou, as well as Sitili Tupouniua, who will get a run in the back row and is a really exciting guy as well.

“Those Tongan guys are certainly worth coming to watch as well.”

The match is Saints’ opportunity to showcase Super League on the world stage after a tough decade in which the balance of power in this particular game has shifted massively to the NRL outfits, winning eight of the last 10.

“It has been tough (for English teams) – but in 2017 Wigan got a win and there’s no reason why we can’t go and do the same.

“And that is what we are going out for – it is a great opportunity for the playing group, the club and for Super League as a whole because that is who we are representing.

“This game is something we can sink our teeth into and play for and get excited for early in the year.

“It is certainly something we want to make the most of,” Woolf said.