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James Graham

Old Timer

Coach
Messages
13,847
Good luck to him he has been a great servant of the game but what shits me is he has taken up 2 and a bit years of game time that could have been invested in someone much younger and with potential to get batter and stay longer.

Our club has long needed to invest in players that will blossom and not those that are like a withered flower that has lost all its petals.

The notion that we currently sign players for things other than the job they themselves have to do on the paddock is totally foreign to me.

Neither captaincy or senior player input was ever going to fix the issues at our club and IMO having Graham just dumbed them down and delayed them coming to a head.
 

2010

Bench
Messages
3,490
Graham was a tryer with a big heart, it’s a pity he wasn’t signed 5 years ago
He has been taking a position that one of our juniors could have had
But all the best James, you are a true legend and the passion you displayed didn’t do your reputation any harm at all
 

getsmarty

Referee
Messages
28,890
Dragons young guns ready to fill the void following James Graham departure
Dragons Den
r0_0_3634_2969_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg

STEPPING UP: Dragons prop Josh Kerr knows he'll need to lift following James Graham's departure. Picture: NRL Imagery

HE'S now officially on the way out of the Dragons but old warrior James Graham still found the time do some extras at training on Tuesday.

It says a lot about the attitude that's seen him notch more than 400 games of top-flight rugby league, a career that will now continue in a different kind of scarlet and white when he links with junior club St Helens.

The 34-year-old confirmed the move on Tuesday night but, for young prop Josh Kerr, the effort on the training paddock is a reminder of how much he and the rest of the club's young crop will need to step up.

"He shot us a message in the whatsapp group a few days ago and it was a bit of a shock," Kerr said.

"I thought it was bit of a joke at first but he's someone who's done it all and he's earned the right to call time whenever he wants. Over the last few years he's helped me so much, I probably wouldn't be playing NRL at the moment if it wasn't for his guidance.

"It's not just the coming up and talking to me about what I've done, it's how he trains. You guys see how he plays every week and how passionate he is, he brings that to training.

"The way he applies himself at training, the passion and how hard he works is honestly incredible for someone his age and how may games he's played. He earns every bit of respect he has."

Graham's departure has coincided with the belated, but long-predicted, rise of Kerr as a starting prop, with the 24-year-old producing the best performances of his career in back to back wins.


While he's not planning to fill the Graham void as a solo act, he's looking to continue the momentum in his biggest test to date against a formidable Roosters pack on Friday.

"James Graham is a one of a kind sort of player" Kerr said.

"It's going to be a very big void to fill but I'll do the best I can. Now that Mary's showed the faith in me to start me the last couple of games, I feel I've got to take it on myself to stand up be a leader.

"Even at the start of the year I was coming in and still felt like I was the new kid on the block, last year I was lucky to get a handful of games. Now Mary's giving me that experience as a starting middle I feel like I'm getting more and more confident.

"Not having that worry in the back of my head about 'will I be in this week' has been good, it's helped me build confidence. It was good to get these last two wins, and I did play all right, but we've got the rest of the season to go so hopefully I can continue my growth."


Fellow young buck Blake Lawrie says he's not setting out to be Graham 2.0, but says the veteran's departure means he will need to take his now 44-game career to the next level.

"He's still at training today, he's still being James, he did his extras first thing this morning," Lawrie said.

"Nothing's really sunk in yet but everyone's got to step up because it's a pretty decent hole to fill. I can't just come in and take up everything Jammer's done, he's a 400-game first-grade player and I've just hit the 40 mark.

"Kerry and myself are probably at that time in our career where we need to step up, we've played more than handful of first-grade games now. We need to step up and be a first-grader and not young guys finding our way."


https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/6803178/young-guns-ready-to-step-into-graham-void/?cs=3713
 

redandwhite4evr

Juniors
Messages
1,434
Graham was a tryer with a big heart, it’s a pity he wasn’t signed 5 years ago
He has been taking a position that one of our juniors could have had
But all the best James, you are a true legend and the passion you displayed didn’t do your reputation any harm at all

As Kenny Rogers once observed, you have to know when to hold em and know when to fold em- know when to walk away....

As much as I liked James in many ways, he played too long- and I'm not sure he's a great judge of a good coach either- he claims that he'd walk to the edge of the world for the coach and others at the club. I'd run to the Gap.
 

getsmarty

Referee
Messages
28,890
Dragons officially release James Graham
Author
Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
Timestamp
Thu 25 Jun 2020, 03:58 PM

St George Illawarra have released James Graham from the remainder of his Dragons playing contract to allow him to take up an opportunity in the English Super League.

The Dragons are still actively seeking a forward replacement – which could come in the form of either a loan deal for the remainder of the 2020 season or a multi-season contract.

The club remain confident the current squad will cover for the loss of Graham in the short-term as indicated by the selection of Jackson Ford for the Dragons' Round 7 clash against the Sydney Roosters.

"I'm definitely leaving with a heavy heart – this club and the people involved have done so much for me over the past two and a half years," Graham said.

"It wasn't an easy decision, but the opportunity to return and play for the club I've supported since I was eight and whose system I was in from 11 was the right thing for me to pursue as I reach the end of my career.

"I'm very grateful for the club, the board and the coach for appreciating my perspective about returning to St Helens. I'd run to the edge of the earth for the coach, staff and playing group at the Dragons. They will have a special place in my heart forever."

Graham played 51 games for the Dragons – including his 400th first grade game last year – and will be sorely missed by everyone involved at St George Illawarra.

We thank the man affectionately known as 'Jammar' for his passion and commitment to the Dragons and wish him well upon his return to the United Kingdom.

https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/06/25/dragons-officially-release-james-graham/
 

Wittenberg

Juniors
Messages
1,140
Dragons young guns ready to fill the void following James Graham departure
Dragons Den
r0_0_3634_2969_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg

STEPPING UP: Dragons prop Josh Kerr knows he'll need to lift following James Graham's departure. Picture: NRL Imagery

HE'S now officially on the way out of the Dragons but old warrior James Graham still found the time do some extras at training on Tuesday.

It says a lot about the attitude that's seen him notch more than 400 games of top-flight rugby league, a career that will now continue in a different kind of scarlet and white when he links with junior club St Helens.

The 34-year-old confirmed the move on Tuesday night but, for young prop Josh Kerr, the effort on the training paddock is a reminder of how much he and the rest of the club's young crop will need to step up.

"He shot us a message in the whatsapp group a few days ago and it was a bit of a shock," Kerr said.

"I thought it was bit of a joke at first but he's someone who's done it all and he's earned the right to call time whenever he wants. Over the last few years he's helped me so much, I probably wouldn't be playing NRL at the moment if it wasn't for his guidance.

"It's not just the coming up and talking to me about what I've done, it's how he trains. You guys see how he plays every week and how passionate he is, he brings that to training.

"The way he applies himself at training, the passion and how hard he works is honestly incredible for someone his age and how may games he's played. He earns every bit of respect he has."

Graham's departure has coincided with the belated, but long-predicted, rise of Kerr as a starting prop, with the 24-year-old producing the best performances of his career in back to back wins.


While he's not planning to fill the Graham void as a solo act, he's looking to continue the momentum in his biggest test to date against a formidable Roosters pack on Friday.

"James Graham is a one of a kind sort of player" Kerr said.

"It's going to be a very big void to fill but I'll do the best I can. Now that Mary's showed the faith in me to start me the last couple of games, I feel I've got to take it on myself to stand up be a leader.

"Even at the start of the year I was coming in and still felt like I was the new kid on the block, last year I was lucky to get a handful of games. Now Mary's giving me that experience as a starting middle I feel like I'm getting more and more confident.

"Not having that worry in the back of my head about 'will I be in this week' has been good, it's helped me build confidence. It was good to get these last two wins, and I did play all right, but we've got the rest of the season to go so hopefully I can continue my growth."


Fellow young buck Blake Lawrie says he's not setting out to be Graham 2.0, but says the veteran's departure means he will need to take his now 44-game career to the next level.

"He's still at training today, he's still being James, he did his extras first thing this morning," Lawrie said.

"Nothing's really sunk in yet but everyone's got to step up because it's a pretty decent hole to fill. I can't just come in and take up everything Jammer's done, he's a 400-game first-grade player and I've just hit the 40 mark.

"Kerry and myself are probably at that time in our career where we need to step up, we've played more than handful of first-grade games now. We need to step up and be a first-grader and not young guys finding our way."


https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/6803178/young-guns-ready-to-step-into-graham-void/?cs=3713
Lawrie is a a long way from being a ‘gun’. He is about as fast as James I must admit.
 

Dragon David

Bench
Messages
2,698

getsmarty

Referee
Messages
28,890
James Graham says rejoining St Helens means a lot to him
10260947

By Mike Parsons Sports Editor
11560564.jpg

James Graham leads the way first time around for St Helens. Picture: Bernard Platt



JAMES Graham arrives in the UK this week to prepare for the second Saints chapter in his illustrious rugby league career.

He will slot into Kristian Woolf's squad in place of Luke Thompson, who has gone the other way and is expected to make his NRL debut for Canterbury Bulldogs against Brisbane Broncos this weekend.

Before his flight out of Sydney yesterday, England and Great Britain prop Graham, who left Saints for the NRL in 2011, reflected on his time in the Australian competition with Canterbury and St George Illawarra Dragons while also looking forward to returning to his boyhood club in a mid-season move that caught many by surprise.

Q: The timing came as a bit of a surprise to us all, James?

A: “It happened really quickly. I was on the phone to Paul Wellens (Saints assistant coach). He sort of mentioned that there was a high probability of a spot becoming available in a couple of weeks.

"That gave me some time to pick over it and then a couple of phone calls with Mike Rush (chief executive), there was no promises either way, it was just an idea, and it grew.

"The more I thought about it the more I thought it was the right decision.

"There was a lot to weigh up personally and professionally, to leave my teammates back here.”

Q: Was it always part of the plan to try and end your playing career at Saints?

“I didn’t come here (Australia) with a plan as such in terms of when I would definitely come back. And at different points in my time out here I’ve thought about the prospect of it.

“I was thinking about the possibility of coming back next season depending on how the body was going to hold up. But the opportunity came up to come back now, I had some time to think about it and it just seems like the right fit and the right thing to do.

"The body’s been pretty good. We had a couple of games, then a long rest with the pandemic break, and then a few more games.

"I’ve been training most days ever since St George backed the release. I’m feeling fit and ready to go.

“I’m coming home because I want to, and also because St Helens want me to come home as well, and there’s an opportunity there.

“I’m not going to guarantee success or anything like that, but I can tell you I want to do my best to give ourselves the opportunity to do that. I think that’s what most teams will be looking to do.”

Q: How does it feel to be returning home?

A: “There was a lot of mixed emotions at first, realising that my playing time in the NRL was up.

“But the opportunity to return home is something that I’m really excited about. I’ve been on the phone to a couple of lads and I’m genuinely excited to get back and play for the club.

“I guess there’s a bit of fortune there with the opportunity coming as it has and I’m delighted to get the opportunity to try and force my way into the team and play for St Helens again."

Q: Does St Helens hold a special place in your heart?

A: “Yes, very much so. Ever since I’ve known what rugby league is I’ve been a St Helens fan.

"I came through the junior system, the academy system, since 11 years of age, made my first-team debut there, managed to win a couple of trophies there, and left on good terms.

"And even now, I’m still a St Helens fan and I will be until the day I die. So the opportunity to play for this club means a lot to me, of course.

“I had a huge desire to test out what Australia was like, both living and workwise.

"I stayed for another deal and then another deal after that. And at different points I’ve thought about the prospect of coming back, how that would look and what it would mean. But circumstance means an opportunity came to go back to Saints and I feel really fortunate that these things have fallen into place and I get the chance to wear the St Helens Red Vee again.”

Q: How has the NRL changed you and what do you feel you can bring to the team?

A: “No matter what you do, you change as a person all the time, you get exposed to different people and different ideas.

"I’ve played under some great coaches and I’ve played with some great players as well, so I’ll bring plenty of experience and I’ll promise to do my best and that’s as much as I can give.”

Q: Is part of the reason for coming back wanting to get into coaching?

A: “That’s a question for another day. I’m passionate about our game. It’s all I’ve ever known so ideally I’d like to stay in the game but at the moment the concentration is doing my best for St Helens and that’s all I can do.”

Q: How do you feel about the kind of arena rugby league currently is when it starts again next month?

A: “It has been strange for a lot of sports. I’ve had the first-hand experience of playing behind closed doors and in front of minimal crowds as well, adhering to protocols on a daily basis.

“It’s different, but it is what it is. The alternative is no sport, so I know what I’d rather be doing.

“I think we’re fortunate that the people involved have managed to get it back on August 2.

"I can’t wait to play, all being well the fans will be back soon and that’s something that will be pretty special to play in that new stadium with a full house. I never got to do it, it was unfortunate we played that last season of mine at Widnes but I’m just delighted to be back and in hope that the crowd will be back sooner rather than later.”

Q: As a Blue, you’ve picked the worst time in the last 30 years to be coming back to Merseyside haven’t you?

A: “Yeah, but you’ve got to give congratulations to Liverpool – as much as it pains to say it.”

Q: How proud are you as a British forward of the legacy you’ve left in the NRL.

A: “Being British or English isn’t part of it, I’ve just tried to be me and do my best for myself and my teammates at the clubs I’ve represented.

"I’ve not really thought of it as leaving any sort of legacy for other British forwards. I’ve just tried to be myself and the best person."

Q: Did you receive an emotional send-off from the lads at St George?

A: “Yes, of course. I’ve had a great two-and-a-half years there and any time you say goodbye to teammates, it was the same at Canterbury, it's emotional to say bye to the players and staff that you become close to.

"You spend more time with them than you do your own family so of course it’s quite sad to say goodbye but there’s some lads down there who will be friends for life.”


https://www.sthelensstar.co.uk/news/18566254.james-graham-says-rejoining-st-helens-means-lot/
 

possm

Coach
Messages
13,991
As Kenny Rogers once observed, you have to know when to hold em and know when to fold em- know when to walk away....

As much as I liked James in many ways, he played too long- and I'm not sure he's a great judge of a good coach either- he claims that he'd walk to the edge of the world for the coach and others at the club. I'd run to the Gap.
We need to replace Graham, Frizell and maybe De Belin with top-level first-graders with Kerr Merrin, Blacker and Ford as contenders for bench positions. For me, Host is a good backup player.
 

Dragon David

Bench
Messages
2,698
I just watched the Super League game on Kayo Sports between St Helens and Leeds which was played on Sunday 10/8.

It was good to see James Graham score his first try for the Saints in his return there. They thrashed Leeds 48-0 and yes I know they play like it is touch footy over there. Walmsley played a blinder for Saints, scored a try and assisted in another. He is tough as teak and would be a good one to get if we could snare him.
 

Dragon David

Bench
Messages
2,698
I just watched the Super League game on Kayo Sports between St Helens and Leeds which was played on Sunday 10/8.

It was good to see James Graham score his first try for the Saints in his return there. They thrashed Leeds 48-0 and yes I know they play like it is touch footy over there. Walmsley played a blinder for Saints, scored a try and assisted in another. He is tough as teak and would be a good one to get if we could snare him.
Sorry, the game was played on 10/8 which is Monday.
 

Dragon David

Bench
Messages
2,698
Supposedly bulldogs are after walmsley too
Yes I have heard but he has sort of declined to take up the offer and said that he has a few years left on his contract with St Helens and he loves playing for them.
Graham didn't look out of place and he appeared to be happy - why wouldn't you be feeling this after winning 48-0. Not like the days at the Dragons.
 

redVinme

Juniors
Messages
1,634
Yes I have heard but he has sort of declined to take up the offer and said that he has a few years left on his contract with St Helens and he loves playing for them.
Graham didn't look out of place and he appeared to be happy - why wouldn't you be feeling this after winning 48-0. Not like the days at the Dragons.

For sure. Always going to be happy to see him do well. Still think walmsley would be a real get though. If only we had some buying power
 

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