Former St Helens, England and NRL star James Graham has broken his silence after being sensationally sacked.
Graham, who has been part of the St George Illawarra Dragons’ elite pathways mentorship group for the past few years, will no longer be holding that role in 2023.
That is because the Dragons are going in a completely new direction with assistant coaches Mathew Head and Peter Gentle also being let go at the end of the 2022 NRL season.
Now, though, Graham has spoken out about that decision by the club to let go of him.
“I had a role with the Dragons when I came back from England, spread across a variety of areas within the organisation,” Graham said on Triple M’s Saturday Scrum.
“I was basically told the role would no longer be continued and that they were going to put that money into… well basically, the sales department.
“I was blindsided by it, I was. I’m not going to lie. I didn’t see it coming.
“But I’ve had time to digest the news and look for other opportunities. I was disappointed but I mean, if that’s the direction the club want to go.”
The former England international was a popular Dragons ambassador used regularly to speak at corporate events and bring in new sponsors as well as maintain old ones.
“I was someone that could go and talk about the club in a positive light, which admittedly has been difficult the past couple of seasons,” Graham said.
Now, though, the Daily Telegraph is reporting that Graham is set for a massive coaching gig in the England set-up for the World Cup at the end of the year.
Graham was an ever-present in the England squad throughout his career, earning 44 caps and being an incredibly passionate member of the national squad during that time.
The 36-year-old played 423 first grade games in the Super League and NRL, but will mostly be remembered for his Grand Final-winning exploits with Saints in his final season in the sport in 2020.