sport

Roby: Wellens a role model

James Roby has paid tribute to St Helens team-mate Paul Wellens as he prepares to equal the record for most Super League appearances.

Former Great Britain full-back Wellens will draw level with record holder Keith Senior when he makes his 413th appearance against Leeds Rhinos on Friday.

Wellens, who needs just one point to reach 1,000 in his career, is St Helens' longest-serving player, having made his debut in 1998, and is still leading by example, according to Roby.

"He's a great ambassador for the game," Roby said. "He's been at the top of his game for many years.

"He's one of the players I looked up to as a teenager coming through the academy. You just want to follow his example."

Determined

St Helens and Leeds have yet to taste defeat this season and Saints forward Anthony Laffranchi says they are determined to extend their unbeaten streak.

"We want to keep this winning run going but we know coming up against Leeds will be a tough challenge," he said. "The 17 out there will be giving everything to win.

"In hindsight we have given ourselves the best possible start to the year and now we head into a big month of fixtures. If we come out of it sitting well then it will be good.

"There has been a lot of buzz around the town and it's good. We have been successful for the first month and a half and with a young squad and new players it has been rewarding for everyone.

"The last two years I have been here results wise for the club haven't been too good so to win and get that good feeling back is great."

Watch St Helens v Leeds live on Sky Sports 1 from 7.30pm on Friday