Saints set for Graham fight

James Graham receives a 'guard of honour' from Saints legends on his 200th appearance for the club
James Graham receives a 'guard of honour' from Saints legends on his 200th appearance for the club

JAMES Graham reached a personal milestone in his Saints’ career against Hull KR on Friday night, but how many more times will he pull on the famous red-V shirt?

That was the burning question among fans as Graham, who is thinking about a move Down Under when his present contract expires at the end of Engage Super League XV1, completed 200 appearances for a club he first joined as a raw youngster.

Saints don’t want the talented and popular prop forward to leave, and will do everything in their power to retain his services.

Head coach Royce Simmons said: “James is still weighing up his options and will make a permanent decision in his own time.

“He is playing with great heart for the club, training well and we will just have to wait and see what the outcome will be.

“James knows what I think about him and it goes without saying that all the staff, players and fans want him to remain here.

“He may want to test himself in the NRL, and who could blame him?”

Graham was given a guard of honour to mark his 200th appearance featuring Saints’ greats Kel Coslett, Austin Rhodes, Peter Harvey, Eric Chisnall, Geoff Pimblett, Anthony Sullivan and George Nicholls.

l FOURTH-in-the-table Saints will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run to four matches when they face lowly Crusaders at Wrexham on Friday night.

But they are likely to find the Welshmen in buoyant mood after their impressive 16-10 victory over Salford City Reds at the Willows on Saturday night.

Paul Clough is expected to return to action after a two-match absence with a shoulder problem, but Francis Meli (hamstring tweak) faces another couple of weeks on the sidelines.

Jon Wilkin’s hand injury, caused when he was involved in a freak gardening accident, is not expected to heal for another three to four weeks, and when he does eventually return will have it heavily strapped.