Bulldogs not hindered by Graham signing - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs not hindered by Graham signing

By Steve Jancetic 27/04/2011 06:24:03 PM Comments (0)

Canterbury boss Todd Greenberg claims the signing of England Test skipper James Graham will not hinder the NRL club's ability to sign an outside back to replace departing star Jamal Idris.

The Bulldogs on Wednesday confirmed the signing of the talented 25-year-old front rower, giving the Bulldogs the ability to put out a representative-calibre pack in 2012 when he joins the likes of Frank Pritchard, David Stagg, Greg Eastwood, Michael Ennis and NSW hopeful Aiden Tolman.

The loss of Idris to Gold Coast next season threatens to leave the Bulldogs a little thin out wide and while Greenberg said the club still had room under the salary cap to sign a centre, he denied the club was in desperate need of an Idris replacement.

"Nothing's changed there, we're still looking at our options there," Greenberg said.

"Timmy Lafai's been nothing but very impressive since he came into first grade and you've also got Johnno Wright who hasn't had his opportunity yet this year - there's no need for us to make any drastic decisions regarding the centre position at this stage."

Adding to Greenberg's satisfaction with what he already has on his books is the fact there are few standout options as far as centres go on the open market, with Newcastle's Junior Sau and Manly sensation Will Hopoate amongst the slim pickings.

As for Graham - who will arrive in Australia after completing his commitments with the England side at this year's Four Nations tournament to take up a three-year deal with the Bulldogs - Greenberg said his off-field characteristics as much as his obvious on-field talent made him an easy choice for the club.

"His football ability speaks for itself and we've seen a number of quality Englishmen come to Australia and perform well and we see James Graham being no different to that," said Greenberg.

"He had a steely resolve in him when I spoke to him last year about the challenge of playing in the NRL - what he thought was the premier competition in the world and he wanted to try his hand at it - and we're just delighted that he's chosen us.

"He's had wonderful success at St Helens and most people forget that he's only 25 - really he's walking into the prime of his career."

Graham, who took on the England captaincy prior to the 2010 Four Nations tournament following injuries to Jamie Peacock and Adrian Morley, said joining compatriots Sam Burgess and Gareth Ellis in the NRL had been a long-held ambition.

"The decision to leave St Helens has been by far the biggest decision of my rugby league career," Graham said.

"I love the place and I never wanted to play against them and as such I didn't consider any other Super League options.

"Testing myself in the NRL is something I've always wanted to do and the Bulldogs just seemed right from day one."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news