Graham backs Bennett

James Graham
James Graham
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ESPITE reservations by British Super League bosses over the appointment of Wayne Bennett as England head coach,the Aussie has the full back of former Saints’ prop James Graham.

“I don’t no what all the fuss is about,” declared the Canterbury Bulldogs ace this week.

Bennett ruffled feathers in the UK when he replaced Brit Steve McNamara at the England helm for the 2016 Four Nations and 2017 World Cup.

But Graham insisted: “Wayne is not only one of the best coaches of his generation but also one of the best coaches in rugby league.

“For us to be able to attract that calibre of person speak volumes.”

The England international added:”I read some of the comments and think maybe a few have been taken out of context - I don’t read too much into those headlines.”

Graham became England’s most capped player, breaking Kevin Sinfield’s mark of 26 internationals during their 2-1 win over world No.1 New Zealand in late 2016.

It marked England’s first series win in eight years and Graham is looking forward to many more under Bennett.

But first he intended to get to know the master coach in the World All Stars camp ahead of Saturday night’s Suncorp Stadium clash with the Indigenous team.

“I am really looking forward to working with him in a full camp - this is such a short one,” he said.

“To get the opportunity to work under Wayne in a seven-week (Four Nations) tournament, that’s an exciting prospect.

“Unfortunately I will have to wait 10 months for that.”

But Graham warned it would take more than Bennett’s Midas touch to turn No.3-ranked England into world beaters.

“We are starting to get a bit of depth but we need our key players fit and ready to go, that’s important,” he said.

“But all things being equal if we can tweak a few things here and there, who knows (we could win Four Nations).”