Louie: I know I’ve got big boots to fill

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LOUIE McCarthy Scarsbrook admits he faces a gigantic task in filling James Graham’s boots.

The 25-year-old Londoner will wear the No.10 shirt vacated by Canterbury Bulldogs-bound Graham next season.

And the powerhouse prop, whose performances last year won him a place with the England squad, is under no illusions about the task now facing him.

“In some ways, it’s just a number,” admits the former Harlequins ace, “but it is more than that.

“They are very big boots to fill. James Graham is one of the best prop-forwards in the world, no question.

“So for me, it is a really big honour that they trust me, and have enough faith in my abilities, to give me his old shirt.

“I’m just working really hard right now in pre-season, and I hope that I don’t let myself, the fans, or anyone at the club down.”

McCarthy-Scarsbrook’s per-formances during the 2011 campaign were anything but disappointing.

Saints fans immediately took to him and within weeks of his arrival, he already had a song dedicated to him.

“They are top drawer fans, they really are,” said McCarthy-Scarsbrook. “That ‘Louie, Louie, your name is too long’ chant is just brilliant. I love it.

“It’s brilliant when you came to a new club and the fans take to you. I think they can just see that I’m a bubbly character and they bounce off that.”

Currently in pre-season training, the Londoner is also in training for a different kind of sport – boxing.

He’s agreed to fight in a charity boxing match for Hull FC star Lee Radford’s testimonial in the new year.

“Lee just gave me a call and asked if I’d like to get involved,” he explained. “Then I found out the rest of the boys are really taking it seriously, so I’m going to have to do some proper training.

“I watched Paul Sculthorpe fight Brian McDermott last year, and that was a great fight, so I’m looking forward to it.”

The St Helens star also got his first look at the club’s new stadium on Friday, during an official tour for the squad.

“It looks magnificent, and it will be unbelievable playing there,” he said. “All the boys are just so switched on and focused.

“It’s not until after Christmas that you start sitting down and thinking about goals for the new year.

“But having said that with the talent we’ve got in the squad – the talented youngsters and the great old boys – it would be stupid not to say we’re going into everything to win it.”