Graham: Foundations in place for Dragons’ success

James Graham. NRL Photos
James Graham. NRL Photos
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James Graham is expected to add much-needed firepower to the St George Illawarra Dragons’ pack during the forthcoming season but the former St Helens star is happy to take a watching brief and initially ‘do what he is told’ in his new surroundings.

The powerhouse forward, who moved from Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in the close season, has signed a three-year deal at the Jubilee Oval and will be fully focused on attempting to bring the coveted Grand Final trophy to his new club for the first time since they defeated Sydney Roosters 32-8 in 2010.

The England international will be in his mid-30s when his contract expires and it will possibly be the time to bow out after suffering the wears and tears of a tough and uncompromising career.

He started in 2000 when he joined Saints as a junior before making his senior debut at Knowsley Road in 2003 and subsequently moving Down Under at the end of the 2011 campaign.

The Maghull-born self-confessed Evertonian told the Australian media this week: “I’ve come here to do my best for the club. Obviously, I’ve played against the Dragons before and I know what they are all about.

“I think the foundations are definitely in place for a successful future, but it’s not something that just happens - you’ve got to build for that - and I believe we are going in the right direction.

At 32, Graham will be one of the elder statesmen on the park and admits he likes to mentor younger players.

“As an older guy, I like to see youngsters coming through and developing their careers,” he said.