Graham yet to decide

James Graham
James Graham

James Graham says he is torn between staying in the NRL and returning to his beloved Saints.

The England stand-in skipper is yet to decide where his future lies when his contract at the Canterbury Bulldogs comes to an end.

Graham, who will be in his early 30s when his current deal expires, said: “Part of me would love to stay at Canterbury for the rest of my career and part would love to go back and play for Saints.

“It is definitely a big ambition to get into coaching. Whether that takes me back home or whether I stay in Australia has yet to be seen.”

Graham is currently leading England in the Four Nations and the squad can end the world dominance of the southern hemisphere countries.

The former Saints’ prop, who took over the captain’s armband from Sean O’Loughin when the Wigan Warriors loose forward was ruled out of the weekend tie through injury and helped steer England to a 32-26 win, said: “I’ve a gut feeling that we could go on and win the competition. but we will definitely have to improve on our weekend performance and I believe we can do so.

“You’ve also got to remember that, as a squad, we’ve been together a week less than our rivals and while we are all mixing well and have one win under our belts, tougher tests lie ahead.”

England face a much-changed Australian outfit in their second group game at AMMI Park, Melbourne, on Sunday and victory could possibly end the Kangaroos’ interest in the competition after their 30-12 defeat against New Zealand.

But the 29-year-old Liverpudlian warned: “The Aussies will be hurting like hell after going down to the Kiwis and we will have to be at our very best to overcome them.”

It will be a feather in England’s cap if they lower the Kangaroos’ colours – and then go on to lift the trophy – and will also help erase the bitter disappointment Graham suffered after his club, Canterbury Bulldogs, were beaten in the NRL Grand Final by South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Neither has the former Knowsley Road idol ruled out a return to his only other professional club, even though he will be in his early 30s when his current Bulldogs’ contact expires.

n Mose Masoe – the only Saints’ player involved in the Four Nations – emerged from the Samoa bench to pose one or two problems for England at the Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

n Shannon McDonnell, who joined Saints towards the end of the season from Hull FC, was a member of the Ireland side which went down 25-4 to Scotland at the Tallaght Stadium, Dublin, on Saturday.

n Matty Fozard – one of Saints’ up-and-coming teenagers – crowned his inclusion in the Wales side by scoring a try in their European Championship clash against France in Albi.

But the 19-year-old’s 46th minute touch down, which followed a teasing up and under, failed to deny France a comfortable 44-22 victory.

Fozard made his Saints’ debut – and only apearance of the season at senior level – in a 40-26 Easter Monday defeat at Widnes.