St Helens hooker Aaron Smith says he wants to follow in the footsteps of James Roby after signing an extension through until 2022. The 22-year-old has made four Super League appearances for Saints this season, scoring two tries, with his patience having been rewarded following a tricky time trying to break into the first-team squad.
Smith has come through the academy of the Merseysiders but made his Super League debut on loan at Hull KR, while he has also had stints with York, Featherstone and Leigh. Smith’s lack of opportunities have been down to club captain Roby, who continues to be a vital part of the St Helens team at the age of 33. Roby has been at Langtree Park since 2002 and Smith is hopeful he can emulate the career of the England international after pledging his long-term future to the club.
Related: Roby Pens Saints Deal
Smith said: “Being a local lad growing up in St Helens and coming to watch as a kid, it feels great to be able to sign on again and I can now move my career on. “It has been great to train and work alongside the likes of James Roby who has helped me a lot. He has helped me develop my game and I have tried to model my game on the way he plays.
“There is no better role model than him and hopefully one day I become half the player he has been and have some sort of legacy within the club. That is the ultimate dream.” Head coach Justin Holbrook added: “Aaron has proven this season he is a Super League player. His performances this season have shown what a bright future he has.”
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